Alberta health minister says latest COVID-19 variant may have reached a plateau

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EDMONTON — The Alberta government says the number of COVID-19 infections continues to increase in the province but cases with the latest variant of the virus may have reached a plateau.

Health Minister Jason Copping says hospitalizations were up three per cent in the past seven days to 1,126, but the number of individuals with COVID-19 in intensive care dropped to 43 from 46.

He says there are early indications that Omicron BA.2 subvariant infections may be at a plateau -- with the average test positivity rate in the past week at 25.9 per cent compared to 26.6 a week ago.

Copping says the number of patients in hospital has been stable for the past two months at a level that is normal for this time of year, although some facilities are still near full capacity.

He says there are currently 167 patients in ICU compared to the pre-COVID average of 173.

Copping says the government will be launching a campaign to encourage Albertans to get their third vaccine doses since the province, at 46 per cent, currently has the lowest rate in Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 20, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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