Alberta to assess impact of new COVID measures before implementing new ones, Shandro said Friday
The latest COVID-19 numbers:
No new COVID-19 data will be reported by the Alberta government over the weekend. They will be updated on Monday.
Alberta reported 10 more deaths from COVID on Friday. A total of 2,444 Albertans have died of COVID-19.
Alberta reported 1,473 new cases out of more than 13,625 tests on Friday.
The positivity rate was 11.65 per cent.
The province is leading the country in daily new COVID cases and active cases.
There were 16,265 active cases across Alberta.
By comparison, Ontario, a province with more than three times the population, has less than half the number of active cases.
There were 686 people being treated in hospital, 169 of whom were in intensive care beds. About 73 per cent of patients in ICU are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.
The R-value, which represents the average number of people infected by each infected person, was 1.12 (with a confidence interval of 1.1 to 1.14) for Aug. 30 to Sept. 5.
247,328 Albertans are considered to have recovered from COVID-19.
Health Minister Tyler Shandro, accused of not doing enough to stop a COVID-19 surge swamping hospitals, said Friday that the provincial government wants to see the effect of recent health restrictions before adding any new ones.
Shandro announced Thursday that Alberta will move patients out of acute-care hospital beds to make room for others sick with COVID-19.
Dr. Verna Yiu, CEO of Alberta Health Services, says intensive care beds are 130 per cent over capacity, and critically ill patients are being directed to overflow wards.
Non-emergency surgeries were cut by as much as 60 per cent provincewide last week and the Calgary health zone has cancelled all non-urgent procedures for the rest of the week.
The province says it will provide up to $36 million in new funding to improve wages and create additional workforce capacity to allow more Albertans to receive care outside of hospitals. About $22 million will be used to increase the pay of health-care aides working in contracted agencies.
A group of Alberta physicians is warning that the province’s health-care system is on the verge of collapse due to a staffing crisis, overwhelmed intensive care units and mixed messaging from the province.
They are asking the Alberta government to strengthen public health measures to fend off the province’s fourth wave of COVID-19 as case numbers and hospitalizations surge.
New COVID-19 cases in Alberta could climb to 6,000 per day by the beginning of October, with more than 1,500 hospitalizations and approaching 500 people in ICU, according to virus modelling released Sept. 1.
That projection is part of an ongoing series of reports from the B.C. COVID-19 Modelling Group — a project run by various academics working in epidemiology, mathematics and data analysis.
The latest on restrictions and reopenings:
A dozen mayors in the Edmonton region are urging the provincial government to adopt both a vaccine passport and mandatory masking in schools.
Some Alberta businesses are saying they’re becoming increasingly frustrated with the provincial government’s refusal so far to introduce a vaccine passport program.
A poll released Wednesday by the Angus Reid Institute suggests 54 per cent of Alberta respondents agreed that mandatory proof of vaccination was a good idea.
The Alberta government has cancelled plans to end the mandatory 10-day quarantine requirement for people with confirmed cases of COVID-19, Alberta Health confirmed in an email on Sunday.
Other measures that the provincial government had set to ramp down on Sept. 27 — including contact tracing and testing — will continue in their current form, Alberta Health spokesperson Chris Bourdeau said in an email on Sunday.
The decision to maintain the status quo comes several weeks after the Alberta government announced a six-week delay of measures that were originally set to take effect on Aug. 16.
The first announcement, on July 28, would have made the 10-day isolation period a recommendation rather than a requirement. Testing would have been moved from screening centres to doctors’ offices.
The measures were met with strong criticism from physicians and the public.