Alberta reports another increase in the number of patients hospitalized for eight more deaths and illnesses from COVID-19.
Prime Minister Jason Kenny and Alberta Chief Medical Officer Dr. Dean Xinshou provided updates on COVID-19 and the highly contagious Omicron variant.
As of Thursday, 786 of the 748 Albertan COVID-19s were hospitalized on Wednesday. There are currently 79 patients in intensive care units, down three from Wednesday.
6,010 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the province, but the actual number of infections is expected to be much higher.
The highly contagious Omicron variant increased the number of cases and test positive levels in Alberta.
Alberta Omicron continues to conduct PCR testing as provincial laboratories are out of capacity.
As of Thursday, 62,733 active COVID-19 cases were known across the province. Hinshow points out that reducing test opportunities means the actual number of infections will be 10 times higher.
Alberta’s test-positivity rate is currently less than 41 percent.
According to the forecasts of the COVID-19 early warning system used by Alberta Health Services, Alberta could see a record level of COVID-19 hospitalization in a few weeks.
“The omicron is so high that the rapidly growing number of cases will require more people to be hospitalized than previous waves,” Xinshou said.
“Even if a small number of those in the hospital are in the hospital, it could lead to an increase in the number of hospitalized people, even if there are tens of thousands of active cases in the province.
“Such a rise could put undue pressure on medical staff who have been vigilant and working tirelessly for almost two years.
“Our efforts today can be part of preventing that.”