Fourth wave of COVID-19 eases in Alberta: independent modeler – .

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Fourth wave of COVID-19 eases in Alberta: independent modeler – .


Alberta COVID-19 cases have been steadily declining since peaking in late September

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Alberta is emerging from its fourth wave of COVID-19, with infections set to continue to decline in November, according to an independent model.

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This is largely thanks to sweeping provincial public health restrictions introduced in mid-September, said Dean Karlen of the BC COVID-19 Modeling Group.

“These measures have really been very effective for Alberta in turning the tide,” said Karlen, professor of physics at the University of Victoria.

“This has been remarkably consistent over the past four weeks since these measures were introduced and went into effect. In other words, behaviors and modes of transmission are mostly consistent across the province. “

Karlen added that the decline is expected to continue as long as current measures remain in place.

Alberta’s COVID-19 cases have been steadily declining since peaking in late September. On Wednesday, the province reported 645 new cases of the virus out of 11,343 tests, for a positivity rate of 5.7%. The new cases mark a drop of 17.9% from the previous Wednesday.

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The number of active cases is also declining. Alberta now has 8,733 active cases of COVID-19, the least since August 24.

Karlen’s modeling is now using hospital admissions to track the trajectory of the pandemic in Alberta, after recent indications that Alberta’s testing and contact tracing system is missing a considerable number of cases of the virus.

“In Alberta, the last wave was significantly larger than the previous waves, although it doesn’t show in the number of cases. It’s just that a smaller fraction of the infections have been identified as cases, ”Karlen said.

“We couldn’t rely on how cases were increasing or decreasing to accurately measure the history of COVID infection for this wave. “

In Wave 4, hospitalizations in Alberta from COVID-19 peaked at 1,133, with ICU patients peaking at 267, numbers that forced widespread surgical cancellations and pushed the healthcare system to Alberta to its limits.

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As of Wednesday, those numbers had fallen to 810 hospitalizations and 184 intensive care patients – still higher than numbers seen at any time in previous waves.

The fourth wave also led to an increase in the number of deaths from COVID-19. Since September 1, 685 Albertans have died from the virus, including 10 more deaths reported on Wednesday.

Despite the continued decline in the number of cases, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Tuesday Albertans should stay the course and continue to monitor public health measures.

“At the end of the day, we know there is still a lot of COVID and we have to be careful,” she said.

Karlen agreed that continued compliance with public health measures will help keep Alberta on track to end Wave Four. He said seasonal effects could lead to increased transmission as winter approaches, but increasing vaccination rates could also help reduce transmission. He added that officials should closely monitor trends and take swift action if necessary “to avoid a massive fifth wave.”

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Vaccination efforts continue in Alberta, with more than 15,000 additional vaccines reported as of Wednesday.

Among Albertans aged 12 and over, the group eligible to be vaccinated, 86.8 percent have received at least one injection and 79.4 percent are doubly vaccinated. In the general population, 73.8% of people receive at least one dose and 67.5% have both necessary injections.

A new group of Albertans may soon be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory committee voted in favor of using Pfizer-BioNTech injections on Tuesday for people aged five to 11, and Health Canada is currently reviewing whether to offer the injection. Pfizer in the same age group.

There are 391,584 people in Alberta between the ages of 5 and 11, according to provincial government data.

– With files from Dylan Short

[email protected]

Twitter: @jasonfherring

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