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COVID-19 hospitalizations in Alberta jump to nearly 1,000

Click to play video: 'Alberta Health warns of increasing COVID and flu cases'
Alberta Health warns of increasing COVID and flu cases
The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 is rising and the Alberta government says that, combined with a bad flu season, will make it a tough fall. Breanna Karstens-Smith reports. – Sep 29, 2022

COVID-19 hospitalizations in Alberta took a jump in the past week, adding more than 100 patients to already stressed hospital resources.

For the week ending Sept. 26, COVID-19 hospitalizations increased by 137 to 980 total. The last time Alberta hospitals were this full of COVID-19 patients was May 27.

COVID ICU numbers saw a 50 per cent increase from the week prior, up 13 to 39 – matching mid-May numbers.

A total of 4,905 Albertans have had their death attributed to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, a number that increased by 33 over the past week. The oldest age cohort tracked by the province — people over 80 years old — bore the brunt of those deaths, with 25 more octogenarians added to the death toll in the week of Sept. 20.

Read more: End of COVID-19 border rules ‘too little, too late’ for southern Alberta tourist season: motel owner

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And the seven-day average positivity rate on PCR tests edged down slightly, to 18.75 per cent.

Throughout 2022, PCR tests have been restricted to individuals who are at clinical risk of severe disease with COVID-19, or who live and/or work in high-risk settings.

Read more: Dozens of Alberta schools on ‘respiratory illness’ outbreaks

Hospitals across the province are also experiencing outbreaks of COVID-19 in various units. An outbreak is declared when there is at least one case is acquired within a hospital.

In the Edmonton Zone, the Grey Nuns Community Hospital, Leduc Community Hospital, the Misericordia Community Hospital, the Royal Alexandra Hospital, Sturgeon Community Hospital and the University of Alberta Hospital had outbreaks in at least one unit, as recently as Sept. 26. The Royal Alex had the most units with outbreaks at six.

Click to play video: 'Health experts expect busier respiratory virus and influenza season'
Health experts expect busier respiratory virus and influenza season

Four hospitals in the Calgary Zone – the South Health Campus, Foothills Medical Centre, Peter Lougheed Centre and Rockyview General Hospitals – all had outbreaks declared, as recently as Wednesday.

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The Central Zone’s Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre, Rimbey Hospital, Three Hills Health Centre and Vermillion Health Centre had outbreaks. And the South Zone’s Chinook Regional Hospital and Medicine Hat Regional Hospital also are under outbreak status.

According to data submitted to the Public Health Agency of Canada, five more monkey pox cases were detected in Alberta, bringing the total to 39.

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