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COVID-19 in Alberta: Hospitalizations continue to decline; 43 new deaths reported

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Alberta now has 910 Albertans in hospital with the coronavirus, 33 of whom are receiving care in ICUs.

That is a decrease of 82 hospitalizations and an increase of one ICU admission since last week’s update.

Alberta Health data is routinely updated for accuracy and to account for reporting delays. Last week’s hospital numbers were retroactively increased from 992 to 1,032, while last week’s ICU numbers were retroactively increased from 32 to 43.

According to the province, 424 of the 1,032 people in hospital with COVID-19 last week were hospitalized for reasons directly related to the virus, while the other 608 people were admitted for other reasons, but incidentally tested positive. In the ICU, 58 per cent of patients were being treated because of COVID-19.

Alberta’s total number of COVID-19 related deaths went up by 43. Of the new deaths reported, 31 were retroactively added to past weeks, while 12 belong to this week.

The provincial death toll now sits at 5,351.

Since its last data update, Alberta Health has counted 926 new COVID-19 cases in 7,171 PCR tests. That is a decrease of 119 cases and 638 tests compared to last week's update.

The number of new cases is likely higher because of testing limitations and because the province doesn't count positive results from rapid tests.

The average positivity rate is now at 13.25 per cent.

HOW DOES IT COMPARE?

On Dec. 19, 2021, 330 Albertans were hospitalized with COVID-19. This year, there are more than double that amount, with 910 patients in hospital with the virus. In 2020, 788 people were hospitalized. 

In 2021, there were 63 people in intensive care on Dec. 19, compared to this year's 33 and 2020's 152.

It is not known how many people in 2020 and 2021 were hospitalized and admitted to the ICU because of the virus versus those who were admitted for other reasons and incidentally tested positive, as that statistic was only made available by Alberta Health as of February 2022. 

In November, 195 Albertans died from COVID-19 compared to 133 in 2021 and 262 in 2020.

So far this year, 2,033 people have died from COVID-19 compared to 2,104 last year, and 1,214 in 2020.

The next data update is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 28.

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