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Upward trend in Alberta COVID hospitalizations pauses

Front-line health-care workers in Alberta help COVID-19 patients in hospital. Courtesy: Twitter/Alberta Health Services

COVID hospitalizations in Alberta stopped increasing for the first time since mid-September, data released by the province revealed Wednesday.

As of Nov. 1, the province reported 1,095 COVID-19 hospitalizations — a decrease of 23 from the week before. COVID-related ICU cases were also down to 24, four less than the previous week.

According to AHS data, provincial ICU capacity sat at 80 per cent on Wednesday.

In the last week, 36 Albertans were deemed to have died of COVID-19, bringing the pandemic death toll to 5,047. One death was of an Albertan aged 30- to 39-years-old and one aged between 40- and 49-years-old.

The seven-day average positivity rate on PCR tests across the province fell by more than one-tenth to 16.64 per cent. And the number of new cases reported in the past week also fell by one-tenth to 1,323, despite no apparent drop in testing volume.

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Only Albertans with clinical risk factors from a COVID-19 infection or people who work and/or live in high-risk settings are eligible for PCR tests.

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Edmonton zone hospitals continue to struggle with high numbers of COVID-19 outbreaks through the fall, but two Calgary zone hospitals had outbreaks declared this week.

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On Monday, the High River Public Health Centre declared an outbreak when two patients tested positive for the coronavirus.

And a pair of units in Calgary’s Rockyview General Hospital had outbreaks declared: one on Tuesday when four health-care workers tested positive and one on Tuesday when six health-care workers tested positive for COVID-19.

Seven Edmonton Zone hospitals still have COVID outbreaks in units: the Alberta Hospital Edmonton, the Fort Saskatchewan Community Hospital, the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, the Grey Nuns Community Hospital, the Leduc Community Hospital, the Misericordia Community Hospital and the Royal Alexandra Hospital.

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In the last week, the Royal Alex had outbreaks declared on four units, when a total of 13 patients tested positive on Oct. 27 and 28.

And on Wednesday, an outbreak on a unit at the University of Alberta Hospital was declared over.

A COVID-19 outbreak is declared in a hospital or acute care setting when it’s determined the virus has been transmitted to at least one person.

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