New Alberta Health Minister Jason Copping gives a COVID-19 update in Edmonton, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Alberta COVID-19 hospitalizations top 1,000

Alberta health minister tests positive for COVID

Alberta now has 72,368 active cases of COVID-19.

There are 1,007 people in hospital across the province infected with COVID-19, including 94 in the ICU, up 13 from before the weekend.

In the Central zone, there were 4,409 active COVID cases on Monday, with 94 people in hospital and 10 in intensive care.

Due to technical issues, the geospatial mapping on the provincial government’s website was not updated Monday evening. The last numbers released for Red Deer last Friday showed 1,242 active cases of COVID-19, with 11,157 total cases. The city had 9,831 recovered cases and 84 deaths due to the implications of COVID-19.

Alberta’s health minister has tested positive for COVID-19 and provincial hospitalizations exceeded 1,000 patients for the first time since September as the Omicron variant spreads rapidly.

Minister Jason Copping said on social media that he tested positive on a rapid test after displaying mild symptoms last week and is isolating at home.

The death toll rose by 23 people, including a child between five and nine years old — one of the youngest COVID-19 deaths on record in the province. To date, 3,403 Albertans have died from the implications of COVID since the pandemic began.

Provincial figures show more than 15,000 Albertans tested positive for the virus from Friday to Sunday, with positivity rates between 35 and 39 per cent: 6,293 on Friday, 5,407 on Saturday and 4,186 on Sunday.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health, has said infections are far greater than provincial data shows — possibly as much as 10 times higher.

“Please stay home if you have symptoms, and take a rapid test if you can,” Copping said Monday on social media.

“I urge any Albertan who hasn’t gotten immunized or still needs a booster to consider doing so. Reports suggest fully vaccinated individuals are 19 times less likely to end up in the hospital with Omicron than unvaccinated individuals.”

— With files from The Canadian Press



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