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Alberta sees increase in COVID-19 transmission, leading indicators

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Alberta's chief medical officer of health says it's clear there's been a rise in COVID-19 transmission but she won't say if it's a sixth wave yet.

The province reported 6,181 new COVID-19 cases from PCR tests, 37 deaths and a total of 1,053 hospitalizations, including 48 ICU admissions.

The average positivity rate remained stable at 26.6 per cent, but wastewater levels increased in Edmonton, Calgary and many other communities, Health Minister Jason Copping said.

"This is not surprising, given the transmissibility of BA.2 and the increase in contacts as people resume their normal routines," he said.

"We may see some further increase over the next few weeks but we are prepared for it."

Dr. Deena Hinshaw agreed the rise is not unexpected and does not know the magnitude of it or how long it will last.

"Whatever we term it, whether it's called a sixth wave or whether we're talking about a rise in transmission we've seen, we certainly all know the kinds of things that can help protect ourselves and those around us, and those are the same things that we've been talking about for a long time," she said, referring to vaccines, masking and handwashing.

Alberta will update its COVID-19 data again next Wednesday.

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