The number of Albertans in hospital with COVID-19 has reached a level not seen in almost two months, as the Omicron variant spreads rampantly through the province.
As of Friday's update, there are 504 people being treated in hospital for the illness, a slight increase from Thursday when there were 498. It's the first time hospitalizations topped 500 since mid-November, provincial data shows.
The number of patients in intensive care units remains at 64.
Meanwhile, two more people have died from COVID-19. The total number of Albertans who have died from the illness since the pandemic began is now up to 3,338.
Alberta has again set a new record daily case count, despite the provincial government discouraging PCR testing for most situations.
Public health officials reported 6,257 new COVID-19 cases Friday. They were detected out of 16,231 PCR tests, resulting in a test-positivity rate of 38.22 per cent provincially.
Of the Alberta Health Services zones, the Calgary zone has highest test-positivity rate with 43.12 per cent.
There are now 43,414 known active COVID-19 cases throughout Alberta — another pandemic peak for the province.
Rapid test results are not included in these figures, however, so the number of new cases and known active cases is believed to be much higher.
As of Friday's update, 85.4 per cent of Albertans aged 12 and up have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine; 38 per cent of children aged 5 to 11 have received their first dose.
About 73 per cent of the province's total population, including people not eligible for the vaccine, is considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19.