COVID-19: Alberta's total active cases rise as hospitalizations see small decrease

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Alberta counted 347 new cases of COVID-19 over three days, bringing the total number of active cases reported Monday above 1,000 for the first time since late June.

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There were 94 new cases detected on Sunday, 142 cases on Saturday, and 151 cases on Friday.

There are 1,083 active cases in Alberta, up from 799 on Friday — the highest count since June 29, when there were 1,061 active cases, and the province had yet to lift nearly all of its public health restrictions on July 1. The Calgary Zone leads the province at 654 active cases, while 203 are in the Edmonton Zone.

While Alberta saw a steep decline in cases during its third wave in mid-May, case counts jolted sharply upwards last week, with 100 new cases reported on Thursday and 173 on Friday.

The spread is driven largely by the highly contagious Delta variant, which continues to be the dominant strain of COVID-19 in Alberta.

However, hospitalization rates continue to decline, with 83 COVID-19 patients currently in hospital, down from 84 in Friday’s update. Twenty-one patients are currently in intensive care units. There were no new deaths reported Monday due to COVID-19 and the death toll remains at 2,322, while 230,142 cases have recovered.

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The province’s seven-day average test positivity rate sits at 1.8 per cent, and it’s R-value, or rate at which one COVID-19 case spreads to others on average, is 1.48.

The vast majority of Albertans currently receiving hospital care for COVID-19 infection have not been fully immunized against the virus.

About 92.2 per cent of those hospitalized with the virus since Jan. 1 were either unvaccinated, have only had one shot of vaccine or are less than two weeks past their second shot.

Vaccines have proven to be effective in preventing COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in Alberta. Only 663 out of the 2,331,079 Albertans fully immunized against COVID-19 have tested positive for the virus since Jan. 1, or about .03 per cent.

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Vaccination rates continue to creep up slightly, with 75.4 per cent of the population 12 years and over having the first dose, and 63.4 per cent fully vaccinated with two doses. Those are up from 75.2 per cent of the population 12 years and over having the first dose and 62 per cent fully vaccinated with two doses on Friday.

In an effort to get out more first and second doses, Alberta Health Services announced drop-in COVID-19 immunization clinics will be open this week at the Edmonton Expo Centre, 7515 118 Ave. NW.

Existing appointments will go ahead as scheduled, but immunizers are offering mRNA COVID-19 vaccine doses during drop-in hours from 12:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday.

AHS advises residents to bring their Alberta Health Care card if if they have one, along with photo ID.

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