This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. People who had COVID-19 are more susceptible to nightmares and those who had more severe infections had more bad dreams, according to a new study involving a Université Laval researcher. THE CANADIAN PRESS/NIAID-RML via AP

Alberta adds 46 COVID-19 related deaths over past 7 days

Alberta reported 46 additional COVID-19-related deaths over the past week, according to the most recent publicly available data.

There have now been 5,308 COVID-19-related deaths in the province since the outset of the pandemic.

In the weekly update on the Government of Alberta’s website, the province reported 1,045 cases between Dec. 6 and Dec. 12. There are 992 people in hospital, down 50 from the previous week, including 32 in the ICU, down from the previous week.

In the Central Zone, there are 94 people in hospital infected with the virus, with one in the ICU.

According to geospatial mapping on the provincial government’s COVID-19 website, the Central zone has a seven-day new case rate of 28.1 per 100,000, slightly above the provincial average of 23.7. There were 134 new cases over the past seven days in the zone. There have been 63,545 total cases in the region, with 685 COVID-19-related deaths.

Calgary had 21.3 cases per 100,000 over the past seven days, while Edmonton has 25.2. The South zone sits at 28.3 and the North zone is 18.3.

Earlier Wednesday, the province launched an updated respiratory assessment tool to help Albertans manage a wide range of respiratory illnesses.

Alberta Health Services said that the tool, which was used to analyze COVID-19 symptoms and book PCR testing, now provides an assessment of all respiratory illness symptoms, helping bring COVID-19 management in-line with other respiratory diseases like RSV, and influenza.

“Building off the success of our COVID-19 online assessment tool, which has been accessed over 15M times, we have released an updated version with guidance and advice for a range of respiratory illnesses,” says Dr. Kristin Klein, Medical Officer of Health, AHS.

“This tool is an example of the steps that AHS is taking to ensure that the guidance we provide to adults and parents is reflecting the current reality of the mix of viruses this respiratory illness season.”

AHS added that “with an increase in cases of respiratory illness across the province, and with the influx of young patients at pediatric acute care facilities, the updated tool provides Albertans with another option to obtain tangible advice for symptom management”.

The tool guides individuals to the best care options for their symptoms, including self-care at home, or seeking care at a walk-in clinic, family physician, or pharmacy for mild to moderate symptoms.

“This is another tool, in addition to other available resources such as the HEAL website, to help know your options and use appropriate care whether that be in-home or elsewhere,” says Dr. Klein. “Above all, however, we strongly encourage all Albertans to get immunized against influenza and COVID-19 this season, stay home when sick and do everything we can to reduce the spread of illness in our communities.”

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