According to an Alberta Health Services spokesperson, on Tuesday there were 26 COVID-19 positive patients at Red Deer hospital — and none at all in the ICU. (File photo by Advocate staff)

According to an Alberta Health Services spokesperson, on Tuesday there were 26 COVID-19 positive patients at Red Deer hospital — and none at all in the ICU. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Sixth wave of COVID is increasing Red Deer hospital admissions — but not to ICU

Cases are rising across the country

A “slight increase” in COVID patients at Red Deer hospital isn’t translating into more Intensive Care Unit visits, according to Alberta Health Services.

While cases of the Omicron sub-variant BA.2 are spreading throughout Alberta and the rest of Canada, the virus is adhering to its reputation for not making people as seriously ill as previous variants.

According to an Alberta Health Services spokesperson, on Tuesday there were 26 COVID-19 positive patients at Red Deer hospital — and none at all in the ICU.

“We are seeing a slight increase in patients with COVID-19 across the Central Zone, including at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre. We have capacity across the Zone to care for these patients,” the AHS spokesperson said.

Over the last four weeks, COVID-19-related admissions at Red Deer hospital have fluctuated between 12 patients per day on April 3 and 25 patients per day on April 11, AHS reported.

Over the same period, COVID-19 related ICU admissions have ranged from 0-3 per day.

The latest data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows hospitalizations rose about 18 per cent across the country between April 4 and 11.

Provincial data indicates Alberta has nearly as many hospitalizations (1,053) as the much more populous province of Ontario (1,301). There were 2,220 in Quebec, 403 in Saskatchewan, 158 in Manitoba and 59 in Nova Scotia.

Records show vaccinated people are still ending up in hospital and dying less frequently than the unvaccinated.

As of March 27, data from PHAC showed that people with three doses of the vaccine made up about 10 per cent of all hospitalizations, while the unvaccinated made up 61 per cent. Those with two doses of vaccine accounted for about 20 per cent of hospital patients.

Health Canada found unvaccinated people were eight times as likely to end up in hospital and 11 times more likely to die of COVID than the fully vaccinated, who had also received a booster shot.

An analysis of viral traces in wastewater is indicating that this sixth wave of the pandemic would taper off by mid-May.

With files from The Canadian Press

Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre