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Alberta surpasses 4,000 COVID-19 deaths 2 years after pandemic began

Nurses putting on personal protective equipment (PPE) before treating COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit at the Peter Lougheed hospital in Calgary on Nov. 14, 2020. Leah Hennel/Alberta Health Services

Alberta marked yet another somber milestone related to the COVID-19 pandemic on Friday.

More than 4,000 Albertans have lost their lives to the disease since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020.

In the last 24 hours, 11 deaths were reported to Alberta Health. The province’s death toll from COVID-19 has now reached 4,003.

The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 declined slightly overnight, to 1,045 people. On Thursday, there were 1,067 people in hospital with COVID-19.

The number of people being treated for the disease in intensive care is 74, down from 76 on Thursday.

Read more: ‘Far from over’: What past pandemics can tell us about ending COVID-19

Read next: Toxic metals in chocolate? Health Canada finds levels not concerning following U.S. report

Friday marks two years since COVID-19 was characterized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization.

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While there are signs of a return to normal in Canada and other parts of the world, the WHO says the pandemic is far from over.

“It’s far too early to declare victory over COVID-19,” WHO Secretary-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said last week.

Read more: More than half the world now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but challenges remain: WHO

Read next: WHO to decide if COVID remains an emergency. What will this mean for Canada?

As of Thursday, 37,229 Canadians had died of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

Alberta recorded 473 new lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Friday from 2,519 tests. The positivity rate is 18.9 per cent.

There are 6,545 active cases of COVID-19 in Alberta. Because of limited access to PCR testing in the province, health officials have said the number of new and active cases is much higher than what is reported each day.

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