COVID-19: Hospitalizations climb as Alberta continues to grapple with infectious variants

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The number of Albertans hospitalized with COVID-19 climbed nearly eight per cent this weekend as the province continues to contend with more-infectious variants.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Deena Hinshaw reported 1,183 new COVID cases Sunday, down from 1,293 the day before.

The test positivity rate dipped slightly, from 9.1 per cent to 7.9 per cent.

COVID-related hospitalizations grew from 349 to 376, an increase of 7.7 per cent. ICU hospitalizations also increased, from 84 to 90.

As of Saturday, Alberta’s hospital bed capacity sat at 86 per cent.

One additional death was reported, bringing Alberta’s total COVID-related loss of life to 2,013.

Over half (50.5 per cent) of Alberta’s active COVID caseload were “variants of concern,” which transmit more easily from person to person. There were 942 additional such cases reported Sunday.

The dominant variant in Alberta is the B.1.1.7 strain first identified in the United Kingdom.

There were a total of 14,293 active cases in Alberta Sunday, up from 13,687 the day before.

On the vaccine front, health-care workers performed 23,453 additional vaccinations since last report, bringing the total number of shots administered to 849,220. Just under 171,000 Albertans are fully vaccinated.

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