Edmonton

Alberta reports 23 new COVID deaths as hospitalizations top 1,400

COVID-19-related deaths are once again on the rise in Alberta.

3 cases of the Omicron subvariant BA.2 detected in Alberta

About 31.9 per cent of the Alberta's population has had a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.  (Lars Hagberg/The Canadian Press)

COVID-19-related deaths are once again on the rise in Alberta.

The province reported 23 new deaths Wednesday, bringing the pandemic total to 3,505.

Not all the deaths occurred in the past day as there is often a delay in reporting to Alberta Health. One week ago, the province reported 3,413 total deaths related to COVID, a number that has grown by 92.

According to Public Health Agency of Canada data, the province's rate of COVID-19 deaths is still below the national average. As of Tuesday, the province's 14-day average was about 3.0 deaths per 100,000, below the Canadian average of 5.3 and well below Quebec's rate of 10.6 — the highest in the country.

Alberta reported that 1,418 people are in hospital with COVID-19 Wednesday, including 109 in ICU. On Tuesday, there were 1,377 in hospital, 111 in ICU. 

The province detected 3,341 new lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19, through 9,000 PCR tests. The positivity rate was about 37.5 per cent, which is slightly higher than the seven-day average of 36.85 per cent.

The number of known active cases is 47,743, though that number only includes cases confirmed by a PCR test, something most Albertans do not have access to. 

Alberta Health confirmed Wednesday that "approximately" three cases of the Omicron subvariant BA.2 have been detected in the province.

Spokesperson Heather Holmes said in an email that the cases were "identified through our ongoing genetic surveillance, which involves full genome sequencing of hundreds of samples each week."

Holmes added that about 90 per cent of cases found in Alberta currently are Omicron.

As of the province's latest update, about 80.2 per cent of Albertans have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 73.9 have had two. About 31.9 per cent of the province's population has had a third dose of vaccine. 

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