Alberta reports 1,256 new COVID-19 cases, 16 deaths ahead of Thanksgiving weekend

·2 min read
Gerald Zamponi, 56, receives a COVID-19 booster vaccine from advanced care paramedic Don Sharpe earlier this month. Booster shot eligibility was expanded on Wednesday to include Albertans aged 75 and older as well as Indigenous people aged 65 or older. (Leah Hennel/AHS - image credit)
Gerald Zamponi, 56, receives a COVID-19 booster vaccine from advanced care paramedic Don Sharpe earlier this month. Booster shot eligibility was expanded on Wednesday to include Albertans aged 75 and older as well as Indigenous people aged 65 or older. (Leah Hennel/AHS - image credit)

Alberta public health officials reported 1,256 new cases of COVID-19 and 16 more deaths Friday, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province's chief medical officer of health, said on Twitter.

Most of the people who died were in their 70s or 80s. Two were in their 50s, one person was in their 60s, another in their 90s. In total, 2,830 Albertans have died of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

The total number of known active cases in Alberta is 17,839, a decrease of 572 since Thursday's update.

Here's how active cases break down regionally:

  • Calgary zone: 4,359

  • Edmonton zone: 4,204

  • Central zone: 3,690

  • North zone: 3,597

  • South zone: 1,972

  • Unknown: 17

The new cases announced Friday were detected on 14,736 tests conducted in the previous 24 hours. Alberta's test-positivity rate is 8.68 per cent.

The number of people in hospital for COVID-19 has increased. There are 1,101 hospitalizations, including 250 patients in intensive care units.

Of the 851 non-ICU patients, 73.9 per cent are unvaccinated or partially unvaccinated; 89.6 per cent of ICU patients are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, Hinshaw said on Twitter.

Hinshaw and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney each pleaded to Albertans to follow public health restrictions and limit gathering sizes as much as possible over the Thanksgiving weekend. A surge in cases similar to what followed last Thanksgiving would further hamper the province's health-care system, they said.

"Our choices matter. It's critically important that we all make the safest choices this weekend," Hinshaw said during a news conference Thursday.

As of Friday's update, 75.5 per cent of eligible Albertans have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine, while 84.9 per cent have received at least one dose.

When factoring in Albertans under 12 years old, who are not approved for the vaccine, the province's two-dose vaccination rate drops to 64 per cent.

The provincial government expanded eligibility for COVID-19 booster shots this week to all Albertans aged 75 or older, and Indigenous people aged 65 or older.

As of Wednesday, 143,395 third doses had been administered in Alberta.

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