COVID-19 in Edmonton by the numbers
Travelers carry luggage into the Edmonton International airpot in Edmonton Alta, on Thursday December 2, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
EDMONTON -- Data on COVID-19 is largely focused on the international, national or provincial level, but statistics compiled by CTV News illustrate how the coronavirus has affected Edmonton and its communities.
The city of Edmonton is distinct from the Edmonton health zone, which includes communities beyond the city itself. Some data, including hospitalizations and test positivity, is provided only at the zone level, while other data like cases, deaths and recoveries are also provided by individual cities.
Case counts were once the leading metric in COVID-19 data reporting, but changes to testing eligiblity and limits to testing capacity, as well as high vaccination uptake, means the number and rates of severe outcomes are now more important measures.
This page is built across six sections that highlight different aspects of the pandemic's changing toll on the Edmonton area. Scroll down or follow the links below to navigate.
The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations has been reported province-wide since the start of the pandemic, and by health zone since early May 2020, but not by individual cities or facilities.
Tracking hospitalizations is an important indicator of how severely the pandemic is affecting Albertans as well as how the coronavirus is taxing the province's health care system.
The province's hospitalization count includes both infectious and non-infectious patients.
Hospitalizations are a lagging indicator with hospitalizations spiking several weeks after cases rises as the virus runs its course.
But vaccines have reduced the number of severe outcomes among active cases.
Unvaccinated individuals have experienced severe outcomes, including hospitalization and death, due to COVID-19 at several times the rate of those who have had two doses.
The Edmonton Zone's baseline ICU capacity is 72 patients.
While cases are assigned a location by a patient's home address, hospitalizations are reported based on the location of hospitalization.
Deaths are outlined above by both zone and city and do not necessarily occur the day before they are reported. They are tracked here by day of reporting as the province doesn't report the actual date of death by city.
Alberta Health categorizes coronavirus deaths as where COVID-19 is the cause of death or is a contributing factor unless there is a clear alternative cause of death identified.
Similar to hospitalizations, vaccines have proven effective in drastically reducing the number of deaths among those who have had two or more shots.
The number of daily new cases was once the leading indicator of the direction of the pandemic.
But, changes to testing eligiblity mean the daily case counts understate the actual number of COVID-19 cases. Results from take-home rapid tests are not included in the province's testing or case count numbers.
The reproduction value, or R-Value, measures the expected number of cases directly caused by one case. It informs if transmission is increasing or decreasing and relies on a number of models that estimate past and future factors.
A value of one means an infected person will infect one other person, on average. A value above one means the spread is growing. A value below one means the spread is slowing.
The province provides the statistics every second week.
Testing data for specific cities isn't available so the above graph displays data from the Edmonton Zone as opposed to the city itself.
Test positivity percentage provides insight into what proportion of daily tests are returned with positive results. It can generally be calculated by dividing the number of positive results by number of tests, but Alberta Health cautions that confirmed cases can occasionally appear the reporting system two to three days later.
The precise figure takes that delay into account and is provided by the province.
Testing eligiblity has changed several times throughout the pandemic, and was limited to a narrow set of groups in January of 2022.
Similar to new cases, test positivity statistics have understated the true number of COVID-19 infections due to testing limits.
Results from take-home rapid tests are not included in the province's testing figures.
Those factors limit the use of test positivity as a leading indicator, and while the exact values don't hold the meaning they once did, test positivity still provides a relative indicator if transmission is growing or shrinking.
COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed in Alberta since late 2020 and became more widely available in 2021. By early 2022, close to 80 per cent of all Albertans had received at least a first dose.
See the above data race for vaccination rates in subzones across the province, including in the Edmonton Zone.
Vaccine efficacy is often expressed as a per cent of new cases, hospitalizations or deaths that are vaccinated (or unvaccinated).
But, that metric doesn't account for the sizable population difference between the number of vaccinated and unvaccinated Albertans.
The interactive below displays vaccine outcomes by age and vaccination status as a rate per 100,000 people to account for the sizable population difference between the vaccinated and unvaccinated.
See here for a sortable interactive displaying per cent of population with two doses across Alberta's 132 local geographic areas.
Data specific to Alberta's local geographic areas, or subzones, has been available since near the start of the pandemic.
Most of this data centred on case counts, but with changes to testing policy in January of 2022, much of that information is not as useful as it once was.
The above data race shows deaths by local subzone adjusted to a rate per 10,000 residents. Deaths are listed by the residence of the patient.
The interactive below shows the active case rate among all local geographic areas listed in the Edmonton Zone. Note, changes to testing limit the utility of the actualy active case counts.
See below for a map of all local geographic areas within the Edmonton Zone.