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37 more COVID-19 deaths in Alberta and Red Deer cases climbs sharply

212 Red Deer cases in seven days ending April, up from 118 over previous seven days
COVID-19 graphic

Another 37 people have died in the last week from COVID-19 complications and cases jumped by 94 in Red Deer, according to the latest provincial numbers.

Alberta’s death toll due to implications of COVID-19 stands at 4,141.

There are 1,053 people in hospital infected with COVID-19 across the province, including, 48 in the ICU. There are 66 more people in hospital compared to last Wednesday and four more in the ICU.

There was an average of 883 COVID-19 cases per day over the previous seven days.

In Red Deer, the number of new cases over the previous seven days ending on Monday was 212 — up from 118 over the previous seven days. The seven-day case rate is up to 199.3 per 100,000 people, from 110.9. The total number of Red Deer cases since the pandemic began is now 14,262 and the death toll in the city is still 102.

Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said during the weekly COVID-19 update on Wednesday the increase in cases is not unexpected given the easing of restrictions and as regular activities are resumed by many.

Health officials have been monitoring new variants and tracking the effectiveness of different interventions and treatments.

More than 80 per cent of all new cases are now the BA.2 subvariant.

Hinshaw was asked if she continues to use a mask. She says she does depending on the situation. Sometimes, she wears a medical mask when in a public place with people she doesn’t know and other times, such as at work, a double cloth mask. It remains a prudent measure, she said.

Those who are planning to consider gathering for the Easter weekend should consider those who are attending in assessing risk and “it’s critical that anyone whose feeling sick not attend a gathering.”

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said on Tuesday that Canada is now in the sixth wave. Hinshaw was asked if she agrees that Alberta is in a sixth wave.

Hinshaw said while cases are on the rise it is not clear how high the numbers will go or how long the increase will last.

“And no matter what we term it, whether it’s called a sixth wave or whether we’re talking about just the rise in transmission we’ve seen, we certainly all know the kinds of things that can help protect us and those around us.”

In the Central Zone, there are 156 people — up 10 from a week ago — in hospital infected with the virus, including two in the ICU. So far, 525 people have died from COVID-19 complications since the pandemic began.

In Red Deer County, there were 46 new cases over seven days, down from 42 in the seven days prior.

Sylvan Lake has had 25 new cases, Lacombe 13, Olds 22, Wetaskiwin 34, Camrose 59 and Drumheller 39.

Lacombe County has had 25, Clearwater County 33, County of Stettler 14, Mountain View County 27, Kneehill County 33 and Camrose County 14.

On the local geographic area setting, Wetaskiwin County, including Maskwacis, has had 52 new cases, while Ponoka, including East Ponoka County, had 20 and Rimbey, including West Ponoka County and part of Lacombe County, had six.

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There are 1,053 people in hospital infected with COVID-19 across the province, including, 48 in the ICU. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/NIAID-RML via AP)

Paul Cowley

About the Author: Paul Cowley

Paul grew up in Brampton, Ont. and began his journalism career in 1990 at the Alaska Highway News in Fort. St. John, B.C.
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