Alberta's COVID-19 hospitalizations are spiking and experts say the big question now is how high the fall surge will go.
The number of people hospitalized with the virus jumped from 843 last week to 980 this week — an increase of 137 people in one week.
In intensive care, the number of patients with COVID-19 has nearly doubled in the last three weeks.
Noel Gibney, professor emeritus of critical care medicine at the University of Alberta, said that was "significantly concerning," and that he expects the numbers to continue to rise.
"It's pretty clear that COVID-19, in its BA.5 instance, is now making a surge in Alberta," he said.
Over the past three weeks, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 has shot up by 23 per cent. Craig Jenne, an infectious disease expert at the University of Calgary, said a fall surge was expected.
"We've seen some hints of this coming. We've [seen] some increased virus in wastewater, we had seen some reporting of increased school absences," Jenne said, adding the question now is how high the wave will go.
"Although we have reassuring data from some other provinces that cases will go up but not overwhelm the healthcare system, we do have to remember here in Alberta, we still have a very strained healthcare system. We have a significant delay in many other health needs."
The province says work is being done to boost hospital capacity and prepare for a further surge.