Alberta sets single day record, doubling active COVID-19 cases in a week

A nurse gets a swab ready to perform a test on a patient at a COVID-19 clinic in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Alberta more than doubled its active COVID-19 case count in a week, while recording its highest single-day increase of new infections.

A record-setting 2,775 new cases were reported Wednesday, bringing the active total to almost 17,400 in Alberta from nearly 8,300 last Thursday.

Before this month, the long-standing single-day record was about 2,300 cases on April 30. But last Thursday exceeded that by more than 150 infections, only to be surpassed again Wednesday.

The highly contagious Omicron variant is driving rising infections across Canada, with other provinces also setting records.

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“The positivity rates we are seeing are higher than before, showing the transmissibility of Omicron. This is why anyone who feels ill should stay home and away from others until they are feeling better,” Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said in a post on social media.

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Hinshaw said it’s critical that Albertans follow public health measures, stay home when sick and get vaccinated against COVID-19 with all three shots to slow the growth of Omicron.

Alberta Health data shows Wednesday’s cases come from about 9,400 tests, representing a positivity rate of 30 per cent.

That rate is an unprecedented high.

Positivity rates in Alberta rarely passed 13 per cent before recent weeks. The current seven-day average is 20.55 per cent.

The government also confirmed COVID-19 cases identified between Dec. 23 to 27 after originally releasing preliminary numbers.

About 3,150 infections were logged, with a high of 2,484 last Thursday and low of 686 on Sunday. There was a sharp decline in tests administered on Sunday than before Christmas Day.

There are 349 Albertans in hospital with COVID-19 and 57 of those patients are in intensive care.

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