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Alberta launches new respiratory data dashboard to be updated every Thursday

FILE - COVID-19 antigen home tests indicating a positive result are photographed in New York, April 5, 2023. The Alberta government launched its new respiratory virus data dashboard on Monday and promised it will be updated every Thursday during the respiratory virus season. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File).

The Alberta government launched its new respiratory virus data dashboard on Monday and promised it will be updated every Thursday during the respiratory virus season.

According to the dashboard, 1,772 people tested positive for COVID-19 between Aug. 28 and Sept. 23.

Data from the dashboard also said 400 people are in hospital due to COVID-19, with 17 of those in the ICU. Twenty-nine people died from COVID-19 during the Aug. 28 to Sept. 23 time frame.

As of Oct. 2, 70 lab-confirmed influenza cases had been reported in Alberta this flu season, with 14 total hospital admissions and two total ICU admissions.

The total number of lab-confirmed influenza cases increased from 52 on Sept. 3.

Twenty-three cases of respiratory syncytial virus were also reported as of Oct. 2, an increase of two from Sept. 3.

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Hospitalization data and ICU admission data for RSV were not available as of Monday.

Alberta Health has said the number of COVID-19 infections may actually be higher than what is reported. Since early 2022, PCR testing in Alberta has been restricted to people with clinical risk factors or who live and/or work in high-risk settings.

Alberta government moved to monthly reporting of COVID-19 data in June, an unannounced change. The provincial data dashboard has not been updated since July 24 as part of this new reporting method.

In August, Health Minister Adriana LaGrange said the new reporting dashboard would be refreshed to include influenza, RSV and COVID-19 data. It was originally expected to be available on Aug. 30.

“This updated dashboard harmonizes the reporting of respiratory virus data, aligning with practices adopted by other provinces,” LaGrange said in an emailed statement on Monday evening.

“Among its new features, the dashboard includes reporting for RSV cases and positivity, with plans to collect severe outcome data in the near future.

“(The) respiratory virus season occurs annually, beginning around the end of August.”

Data from July 25 to Aug. 27 is missing from the new dashboard.

“For the purposes of data tracking, the 2023-2024 season and data tracking began on Aug. 28 and will continue throughout the fall and into the new year. The data on the page is up to date as of Sept. 23 and will be updated on Oct. 5 with data from Sept. 30,” LaGrange’s statement read.

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Global News reached out to LaGrange’s office with a request for the data from July 25 to Aug. 27. The story will be updated once it is received.

— with files from Adam Toy, Global News. 

Click to play video: 'Alberta firm on not reinstating masking in health-care facilities as respiratory illnesses increase'
Alberta firm on not reinstating masking in health-care facilities as respiratory illnesses increase

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