Three statistics that explain the latest increase in COVID-19 cases in Alberta – .

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Three statistics that explain the latest increase in COVID-19 cases in Alberta – .


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The number of COVID-19 cases in Alberta rose sharply last week, with the province detecting 100 new cases on Thursday and 173 new cases on Friday – the highest daily rates since mid-June.

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This increase follows a sharp drop in cases in Alberta’s third wave in mid-May. This comes just over three weeks after Alberta lifted nearly all of its public health restrictions on July 1 and two weeks after the Calgary Stampede began on July 9.

The spread is largely due to the highly contagious Delta variant, which is now the dominant strain of COVID-19 in Alberta, comprising 81% of the province’s active variant cases.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Jason Kenney said he believed the virus was moving from a pandemic to an endemic state.

“COVID continues to exist,” Kenney said. “The virus will continue to circulate. The numbers will go up and they will go down, but what matters most is that the widespread protective effect of vaccines is real. We should embrace science.

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Nearly 2.83 million Albertans have been immunized against the novel coronavirus with at least one vaccine injection, representing 63.9% of Albertans and 75.2% of people 12 years and older eligible for vaccination. Sixty-two percent of eligible people received the two necessary doses.

Here are three statistics that help explain the trends behind this most recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Alberta.

1. Young adults are the most infected – and the least immune

Albertans aged 20 to 29 represent a disproportionate number of recent COVID-19 infections detected in the province.

The age group accounted for 39 percent of new cases in Alberta over the past week, even though it only represents 13 percent of the province’s population.

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Albertans in their 20s are also the cohort with the lowest immunization rates, with 62 percent having received at least one dose of the vaccine, well below the provincial average.

Although young people are less likely to suffer from serious illness from COVID-19, they can suffer both in the short and long term. In Alberta, 522 people in their 20s have ended up in hospital with the virus and 11 have died.

2. Infection rates are highest in Calgary, and city sewage has predicted it.

Alberta’s largest city and neighboring communities are home to more than half of the province’s active COVID-19 cases, though they only make up about a third of its population.

There are 367 active coronavirus infections in the Alberta Health Service Calgary area, a number that has increased in recent days.

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This is a trend predicted by Calgary wastewater, with sampling from the University of Calgary showing an increased prevalence of the virus that causes COVID-19 since the end of June.

“I think wastewater data is one of the best ways to see if the curve is staying flat or not,” said Casey Hubert, associate professor of biological sciences at the university, who helps lead the research.

“It’s important for Calgarians, if they are checking the data on our public tracker, to be able to make some of their personal decisions about whether they are going to stay on their toes.

Hubert explained that testing a population’s feces for the virus that causes COVID-19 typically detected spikes in cases about six days before they were recorded via testing. The methodology is also capable of detecting variant strains, including the Delta variant.

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He said researchers will continue to monitor wastewater data as long as funding allows.

3. Albertans seriously ill with COVID-19 are mostly unvaccinated

Hospitalization rates continue to drop in Alberta, with just 84 COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized, the fewest since early October.

But one attribute unites the vast majority of Albertans who currently receive hospital care for COVID-19 infection: They have not been fully immune to the virus.

About 90% of people currently hospitalized with the coronavirus are unvaccinated, have received only one vaccine injection, or are less than two weeks after their second injection.

Vaccines have been shown to be effective in preventing COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in Alberta. Only 646 of 2,305,939 Albertans fully immune to COVID-19 tested positive for the virus, or 0.03%.

[email protected]

Twitter: @jasonfherring

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