Alberta sees no ‘significant bump’ in COVID-19 cases after Thanksgiving weekend



Alberta did not see an increase in COVID-19 cases after Thanksgiving, but health officials continue to monitor for any possible “secondary impact,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Tuesday. Hinshaw, the province’s chief medical officer of health, told a news conference that Albertans can “celebrate that we haven’t seen a significant bump” after the October holiday but warned there can be a delayed reaction. “The first [challenge] is the transmission that might occur on that long weekend specifically, and we are definitely past the time where we would see that direct impact of Thanksgiving,” she said. “But what happens in a secondary way is that if there are significant spreading events … it could potentially cross into multiple networks. And so sometimes we see a secondary impact — and right now we are kind of at that point in time where we are monitoring for that.” Hinshaw also noted that “there is still a lot of COVID out there, and we do need to maintain caution.” 442 new cases, 12 deaths Hinshaw said 442 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the previous 24 hours after 7,700 tests with a positivity rate of about six per cent. As of Tuesday, there were 836 people in hospital, including 183 in intensive care. Another 12 deaths were reported to Alberta Health. The deaths are a reminder of the serious outcomes the virus can cause for people of different ages, backgrounds and health conditions, Hinshaw said. “We are incredibly fortunate to have an effective and widely available tool to prevent the vast majority of these serious outcomes. The benefit of vaccines is clear in the numbers that we post online every day,” HInshaw said. “For example, in the last three months, people over 80 years old who weren’t vaccinated were 12 times more likely to die from COVID than those who were fully vaccinated. “The protection further improves when we look at younger groups. For example, 70- to 79-year-olds were 52 times more likely to die from COVID in the last three months than those who were vaccinated.” Hinshaw says fifth wave still possible in AlbertaDr. Deena Hinshaw said Tuesday that the province needs to remain vigilant and vaccination efforts cannot stop now. 1:38 Here is how active cases break down across the province: Calgary zone: 2,334 Edmonton zone: 2,166 North zone: 1,929 Central zone: 1,836 South zone: 992 Unknown: 10 Fifth wave possible? When Hinshaw was asked Tuesday about a potential for a fifth wave of COVID-19 in Alberta, she started by noting that the number COVID patients in ICU is about the same as at the peak of the third wave. “So even though it’s encouraging to see numbers decline again, that’s why we’re really needing to focus on protecting each other, both through vaccine and measures,” she said. “And what a fifth wave might look like, or how COVID will unfold in the future again, depends on multiple factors, including how many of us take the advantage of vaccine protection, including whether or not there are different genetic variants that emerge of COVID and how that interacts with the vaccine,” she said. “So as we have always done, we will remain vigilant and watch the evidence and respond accordingly wherever there are needs to adjust our approach.” Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, 3,063 Albertans have died from COVID-19. 



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