Alberta reports 8 more COVID-19 deaths, slight hospitalizations increase

There are now 1,494 people in hospital with COVID, an increase of three from Thursday's update. The number of people in ICU did not change; there are 116 COVID-positive patients being treated in intensive care.

Most people in hospital, ICU primarily there for COVID-19 treatment, says Hinshaw

About 34.9 per cent of all Albertans have had three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine as of Friday's update. (Lars Hagberg/The Canadian Press)

Alberta public health officials reported eight more COVID-19 deaths Friday, while the number of hospital patients only increased slightly.

The people who died ranged in age from their 50s to 90s. They died some time from Feb. 10-17. A total of 3,830 Albertans have now died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

Meanwhile, only three more people are in hospital compared to Thursday's update.

There are 1,494 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 116 intensive care unit patients — the same amount as Thursday.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, said on Twitter that more than two thirds of new non-ICU patients are in hospital primarily for COVID-19.

In ICU, 86.7 per cent of patients are there primarily for COVID treatment, Hinshaw said.

Public health officials identified 619 new cases through 3,766 PCR tests, with a positivity rate around 21.5 per cent. The seven-day test-positivity rate is 25.88 per cent.

There are 15,384 known active cases in the province — a drop of 1,167 from Thursday.

The amount of virus in the community is believed to be much higher, however, because of limited PCR testing capacity. Rapid test results are not included in the data. 

As of Friday's update, 75.5 per cent of all Albertans — including those who are ineligible — have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine; 80.8 per cent of Albertans have at least one dose.

Meanwhile, 34.9 per cent have received a booster shot.

Third doses are not entirely available to all eligible people in Alberta yet. But as of this week, immunocompromised people aged five or older can book their booster, as well as youths aged 12-17 who are Indigenous or have underlying health conditions.