Alberta reports 422 new cases of COVID-19 and 8 deaths

·3 min read
Alberta's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, updated the province's response to COVID-19 on Tuesday.  (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Alberta's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, updated the province's response to COVID-19 on Tuesday. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Alberta reported 422 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and eight new deaths from the disease.

The new cases were diagnosed after about 8,300 tests, for a positivity rate of 5.1 per cent, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, told a news conference.

"This is a significant decline from the peak of our rolling seven-day average positivity on Sept. 27 when it was 11.3 per cent," Hinshaw said.

The decline in community cases is mirrored in the number of cases in schools, Hinshaw said.

As of Tuesday there were active alerts or outbreaks in 211 schools across the province. Ten schools had 10 or more people with COVID-19 who attended within the last 14 days while infectious.

Hospitalizations are also on the decline. As of Tuesday, 608 patients with COVID-19 were being treated in hospital, including 128 in intensive care.

"While we are headed in the right direction, I want to be clear that this is still a significant number of people in hospital taxing our health-care system," Hinshaw said.

While eight new deaths were reported, four other previous deaths have since been found to be unrelated to COVID-19. The provincial death toll now stands at 3,159.

There are currently 6,090 active infections in Alberta.

Here is how they break down across the province:

  • Calgary zone: 1,753

  • North zone: 1,345

  • Edmonton zone: 1,323

  • Central zone: 1,110

  • South zone: 551

  • Unknown: 8

New drug for COVID-19 patients

Alberta Health Services has begun administering a new monoclonal antibody treatment that was recently approved by Health Canada, Hinshaw said.

Sotrovimab is a new drug developed for treating patients with COVID-19 who have mild to moderate symptoms.

It is the first treatment to be offered to outpatients in Alberta.

Emergency medical services mobile teams have started giving sotrovimab to unvaccinated patients aged 65 and older. The drug is also being made available to patients who have received organ transplants or stem-cell transplants, regardless of their vaccination status.

The treatment is being rolled out across the province in a phased approach starting with those at the highest risk of severe outcomes like hospitalization.

"While this medication is helpful, it does not change the fact that vaccines continue to be our most important tool to protect both ourselves and others," Hinshaw said.

Third doses of COVID vaccine are now available to more Albertans. Starting Monday, the eligibility list was expanded to include Albertans 70 and older, First Nations, Métis and Inuit people over the age of 18, some healthcare workers providing direct patient care, and those who have received only viral vector vaccines.

About 87.6 per cent of eligible Albertans — those aged 12 and up — have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 81.4 per cent have had two shots.

About 69.2 per cent of the province's total population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

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