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Estimated COVID-19 data shows decline in Alberta hospitalizations over Family Day long weekend

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Alberta Health released estimated COVID-19 data Tuesday, which shows the number of people in hospital with the disease declined over the long weekend.

A post on the chief medical officer of health’s Twitter account Tuesday afternoon stated a network change over the weekend caused unintended IT issues. As a result, “only ballpark figures” were released.

According to the estimated numbers, there are now about 1,380 people being treated in hospital with COVID-19, a drop from 1,494 patients in Alberta hospitals on Friday.

The number of people being treated for COVID-19 in intensive care units also dropped — from 116 patients Friday to about 95 Tuesday.

It’s not known how many deaths were reported to Alberta Health over the long weekend. The province said full reporting will resume on Wednesday.

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Dr. Deena Hinshaw’s Twitter post stated about 400 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 were identified in the last 24 hours and the positivity rate is about 20 per cent.

About 475 new lab-confirmed cases were reported on both Sunday and Saturday, while there were about 760 new cases identified on Friday.

Because of limited access to PCR testing, health officials have said the actual number of COVID-19 cases in the community is likely much higher than what’s being recorded.

In a post on Twitter Monday evening, Premier Jason Kenney said there is “encouraging data” that shows a “steep drop” in the current COVID-19 wave, driven by the Omicron variant.

Read more: Announcement regarding COVID-19 measures in Alberta coming Saturday: Kenney

“Pressure on our hospitals is declining,” the premier said.

As such, Kenney said the government will announce its final decision Saturday about proceeding into Phase 2 of the plan to lift almost all COVID-19 public health measures. That is tentatively slated for March 1.

“We will make a prudent decision based on the latest data,” Kenney said. “Damaging restrictions should not last one day longer than necessary to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed.

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“We must learn to live with COVID, and get our lives back to normal.”

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There was no in-person update on COVID-19 Tuesday. Last week, Hinshaw said she would be off for the next two weeks and Health Minister Jason Copping would provide regular updates to the media while she is away.

It’s not known when the next in-person media availability on COVID-19 will be held.

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