'Another tragically high total': Alberta reports 30 deaths, 916 new COVID-19 cases
Alberta reported 916 new cases of COVID-19 and 30 deaths from the disease at a pandemic update Thursday afternoon.
The province completed about 12,700 tests, translating to a 7.5 per cent positivity rate. The seven-day average of new infections sits at 890.
There are 13,423 active cases of COVID-19 throughout the province.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said the deaths reported Thursday were from Oct. 7 to 13, and that the majority of people were unvaccinated.
“This is another tragically high total,” she said. “The high number of fatalities that we have seen recently are the result of rapid spread.
“This is another reason why we all need to keep limiting in-person contact and driving cases downward.”
The 30 deaths reported Thursday raised the pandemic total to 2,930. All the newly reported deaths were from people in their 70s, 80s, and 90s, except for three between the ages of 50 and 60.
There are now 1,016 Albertans in hospital with COVID-19, including 231 in ICU. Sixty-seven people were hospitalized on Thursday, driven primarily by those aged 60 to 69, 50 to 59, and 40 to 49.
In a statement to CTV News, Alberta Health Services (AHS) said it continues to do all it can to ensure ICU capacity can meet patient demand.
As of 2 p.m. Thursday, there are 372 total ICU beds in the province, with 282 full.
“While the number of patients in ICU fluctuates constantly, the number of patients in ICU has decreased by five per cent over the past seven days,” AHS said in a statement.
The North Zone has the highest amount of ICU capacity filled. As of Thursday afternoon, it was operating at 84 per cent.
The South Zone has 83 per cent capacity filled, while ICU capacity in the Edmonton Zone is operating at 76 per cent. ICU capacity in the Central and Calgary zones was at 75 and 72 per cent, respectively.
Nineteen more people were admitted to ICUs on Thursday, mostly driven by those aged 60 to 69 and 70 to 79. One admission was of an Albertan between the ages of five and nine years old.
“This is a significant improvement from just one month ago when our ICUs were close to 90 per cent occupancy, including the surge capacity, and the number of ICU patients was increasing rapidly each day,” said Dr. Verna Yiu, AHS CEO and president.
According to Yiu, the average number of ICU patients admitted in Alberta has reduced from more than 20 a day to about 13 to 15.
“This is still a high number because these admissions are preventable,” Yiu added. “We are grateful that the numbers appear to be falling.
“But we know that this trend can be reversed easily, especially if we become complacent, and we remain uncertain as to the potential impact of the Thanksgiving weekend.”
Yiu said surgical teams are carefully planning to increase the amount of procedures offered again in hospitals in the province, but that there is “no timeline” for a return to normal surgical volumes.
On Wednesday, Alberta Health reported 38 COVID-19 deaths and 652 new cases.
Just over 85 per cent of eligible Albertans have one vaccine dose and 76.2 per cent have two.
With the arrival of colder temperatures, Hinshaw said it is important everyone receive their annual flu shot.
“While influenza and COVID-19 are very different illnesses, several of the symptoms are the same,” she said.
The majority of measures that help limit the spread of COVID-19, like increased handwashing and sanitization, and physical distancing, are effective against influenza, she said.
“We don’t need to look further than the last influenza season for proof of that,” Hinshaw said.
“Despite conducting about 2.5 times the number of influenza tests as we did the previous year, we had zero lab confirmed cases of seasonal influenza and no influenza deaths.”
This year, Hinshaw said there have already been three lab confirmed influenza cases. She urged Albertans to get their flu shot once they become available.
Last year the province saw the highest amount of flu shots administered in the past 10 years, with more than 1.65 million doses administered.
Every Albertan over the age of six months can is eligible to receive a free annual influenza vaccination at a pharmacy or some doctor offices.
“Influenza remains a serious and deadly virus,” she added. “To ease the system strain caused by increased demand for COVID-19 and influenza testing, I urge every eligible Albertan to get the COVID-19 and influenza vaccines as soon as you are able to.
“This will greatly reduce the number of people who get infected and the number of symptomatic people who need to be tested.”
Hinshaw said that scientific and medical reviews determined it is safe for people to receive both their COVID-19 vaccine and influenza vaccine at the same time.
More information about Alberta’s influenza campaign and flu shots is expected to be released in the coming days.
The Shopping Trends team is independent of the journalists at CTV News. We may earn a commission when you use our links to shop. Read about us.
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Vladimir Putin on Friday moved to prolong his repressive and unyielding grip on Russia for at least another six years, announcing his candidacy in the presidential election next March that he is all but certain to win, according to state media reports.
The director of public prosecutions in the Caribbean nation of Dominica has confirmed that two men have been charged in the death of Quebecer Daniel Langlois and his partner.
Here's a list of items Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency recalled this week, including mushrooms, more caffeinated energy drinks, and electric cooktops.
Judge rules in favour of NBA star, nullifies purchase of $8M Burlington mansion once occupied by 'crypto king'
A judge has ruled in favour of NBA star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in his lawsuit against a company that sold him a Burlington mansion previously occupied by self-proclaimed ‘crypto king’ Aiden Pleterski.
Advocates sound the alarm on increased deportations in Canada, urge feds to fulfil regularization promise
Advocates are sounding the alarm on the rise in deportations in Canada and are calling on the federal government to follow through on its 2021 promise to expand a regularization program for undocumented people living in the country.
A French juvenile court is handing down a verdict Friday for six teenagers accused of involvement in the killing of teacher Samuel Paty, who was beheaded by an Islamic extremist after he showed caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad to his class for a debate on freedom of expression.
The bread supplier that admitted to price-fixing earlier this year says in new court filings that any anti-competitive behaviour it participated in was at the direction and to the benefit of its then-majority owner Maple Leaf Foods.
One of the biggest and brightest stars in the night sky will momentarily vanish as an asteroid passes in front of it to produce a one-of-a-kind eclipse.
Prince Harry lost a preliminary round Friday in his libel case against the publisher of the Daily Mail tabloid over an article that said he tried to hide his efforts to retain publicly funded protection in the U.K. after giving up his status as a working member of the royal family.
Some quick thinking from witnesses of a crash in northeast Calgary on Wednesday helped rescue a two-year-old girl who was trapped under a vehicle.
Alberta's health minister is facing pushback after taking a meeting focused on naturopathic medicine's role in the province's primary care.
We are done with the bulk of the snowfall but still, a little more is possible.
A former Saskatchewan Mountie charged with first-degree murder says his alleged victim sometimes blackmailed and forced to him have sex.
The majority of Saskatoon special care homes may be "chemically" managing residents with anti-psychotic drugs, an independent audit found.
The Saskatoon Blades are back from a long U.S. road trip, and they’re right back in action this weekend with three games in three nights.
Accusations flew across the floor of the legislature on the final day of the fall sitting as the government accused the NDP of being anti-Semitic, leading to an MLA being expelled from the legislature.
A Regina couple who own an Airbnb received a surprising phone call from police last Wednesday alerting them their property was about to be raided.
Hitting the slopes at Mission Ridge is a winter tradition for many in southern Saskatchewan.
The Maritime provinces are leading the country in lengthy healthcare wait times, showing a stark contrast to the national average.
The Saint John Police Force says four people have been arrested for weapons offences, after a report of “armed peoples” entering a home in the city.
Two Halifax police officers who fatally shot a man who pointed a fully drawn bow and arrow at them have been cleared of any wrongdoing by Nova Scotia's police watchdog.
A man is dead after being shot by police officers north of Toronto during a call for a domestic disturbance on Wednesday night.
Cyber Monday and Black Friday may have come and gone, but sales on TVs continue through December right up until the holidays.
A man is in hospital with non-life-threatening injuries following an overnight shooting at a Scarborough tow yard.
Unions representing 420,000 Quebec public sector workers are beginning a weeklong strike.
The majority of confirmed Canadian cases in the ongoing cantaloupe salmonella outbreak are in Quebec, according to health officials.
Those planning trips to or from the Island of Montreal on the weekend should note that there are several route closures to be expected. The Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine tunnel, the Saint-Pierre interchange and on the Highway 15 in the Atwater Avenue sector will all feature closures and should be avoided, as well as others listed below.
NEW THIS MORNING
NEW THIS MORNING What's happening in Ottawa this weekend: Dec. 8-10
CTVNewsOttawa.ca looks at things to do in Ottawa, eastern Ontario and western Quebec this weekend.
Environment Canada's forecast calls for above-seasonal temperatures of plus 2 C on Saturday and 6 C on Sunday in Ottawa, before cold temperatures return next week.
A person is in critical condition after a two-vehicle crash in Ottawa on Thursday afternoon.
A Brantford, Ont. woman who faked being pregnant to defraud doulas and obtain care under false pretences has pleaded guilty to multiple charges, including fraud, mischief and committing indecent acts.
Sofyan Taya, a former guest scholar at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, was reportedly killed in an Israeli airstrike near Gaza City. His friend and former colleague called him a brilliant and gentle soul.
The IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship is just around the corner - an exciting time for hockey fans across Canada.
A recent report of more than 30 experts from several universities says some relief is coming at the grocery checkout in 2024.
Despite some critical comments from Ontario’s auditor general, the CEO of Science North wants to reassure northerners that the science centre is thriving.
GRAPHIC WARNING: A North Bay, Ont., mother is shocked after being told no charges will be laid against a school bus driver accused of sexually assaulting her now four-year-old daughter on her first day of school.
A basketball referee is facing sexual assault charges after Winnipeg police say two victims have come forward.
A number of southern Manitoba cities, towns and communities broke heat records on Wednesday, with above-seasonal temperatures expected to continue for the next few days.
Four people have been arrested in connection with the stabbing death of a 36-year-old man one week ago.
Three times she went to Langley Memorial Hospital's emergency room for help. Three times, she said, she was sent home.
A British Columbia Supreme Court jury has retired to deliberate in the first-degree murder trial of Ibrahim Ali, more than eight months after he pleaded not guilty to killing a 13-year-old girl in a Metro Vancouver park in 2017.
Was the order to dismantle a Downtown Eastside homeless encampment legal? Here's what the court decided.
An order by Vancouver's fire chief to clear an encampment on the Downtown Eastside was "unlawful and invalid," according to a lawyer who represented residents in a court challenge of the order.
The skeletal remains of a 39-year-old hiker who went missing in the southern Vancouver Island backcountry one year ago have been found.
The busy Christmas travel season is almost upon us and this year the Victoria International Airport says it’s been working hard to prevent a repeat of the days-long travel chaos that happened last year.
A driver is dead after a single-vehicle crash in Nanaimo Thursday.