COVID-19 hospitalizations and ICU rates continue to climb in Alberta

y Emily Mertz  Global News
Posted August 10, 2021 6:18 pm
 Updated August 11, 2021 11:31 am


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WATCH (Aug. 5): Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, is defending the divisive decision to end the province’s pandemic response plan, despite surging COVID-19 cases.
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The number of active COVID-19 cases in Alberta continued to climb on Tuesday, sitting at 3,463 across the province.
Alberta’s active case rate has been rising for the past couple weeks. On July 14, it was 569, by July 26, it had surpassed 1,000, and Aug. 3, it climbed over 2,100 cases.
COVID-19 hospitalizations and ICU admissions have also been going up. On Tuesday, there were 133 Albertans in hospital with COVID-19, 29 of whom were being treated in intensive care. That compares to 90 in hospital last Tuesday (23 in ICU) and 82 in hospital (21 in ICU) on Tuesday, July 27.
READ MORE: COVID-19: Alberta advocates take fight for health measures in schools to federal government
Alberta lifted essentially all public health measures on July 1.
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Alberta Health confirmed 279 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday out of about 5,400 tests.
Alberta’s positivity rate sat at around 5.3 per cent.
Two additional deaths from COVID-19 were reported to Alberta Health in the last 24 hours.
READ MORE: Pediatricians plead for strong COVID-19 measures: ‘Abdication of our responsibility’
Premier Jason Kenney said Monday he remains confident in Alberta’s decision to lift COVID-19 safety measures, despite growing concerns from physicians.
The Alberta Medical Association section of pediatrics penned a letter to Kenney expressing grave concern over Alberta’s decision to eliminate COVID-19 testing and tracing, and its plan to end mandated isolation for positive cases on Aug. 16.
The group says there is no scientific evidence to support the decision as Alberta battles rising cases, particularly of the highly contagious Delta variant, first identified in India.
Click to play video: '‘Potentially we could have a perfect storm’: Dr. Noel Gibney on the Delta variant and back-to-school'4:56‘Potentially we could have a perfect storm’: Dr. Noel Gibney on the Delta variant and back-to-school
‘Potentially we could have a perfect storm’: Dr. Noel Gibney on the Delta variant and back-to-school
When asked about the letter, Kenney said his government stands by the advice from Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw.
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“It’s hardly a revelation that there is a diversity of views in how best to address the COVID challenge,” Kenney said during an announcement about Alberta’s economy in Edmonton.
“We’ve accepted without modification the proposal of the chief medical officer for health, based on the extensive research of our public health officials on the new reality of COVID here in Alberta, and around the world, with the widespread protective effect of vaccines.”
Click to play video: 'Alberta’s COVID-19 reopening plan was developed by chief medical officer and team: Kenney'0:56Alberta’s COVID-19 reopening plan was developed by chief medical officer and team: Kenney
Alberta’s COVID-19 reopening plan was developed by chief medical officer and team: Kenney – Aug 3, 2021
Close contacts of individuals who test positive for COVID-19 are no longer required to isolate, nor are they notified by contact tracers. Come Aug. 16, infected Albertans will also not be required to quarantine.
READ MORE: Hinshaw apologizes for causing ‘fear or anger’ over Alberta’s plan to lift COVID-19 measures
Alberta currently has the highest active case count in Canada, followed by British Columbia.
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As of Tuesday, 76.5 per cent of Albertans 12 and older had received one dose of vaccine, while 67.1 per cent were fully immunized.
— with files from Canadian Press

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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