Alberta discovered 459 COVID-19 new infections in the last 24 hours and counted another 12 deaths.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said it’s encouraging to see active cases and hospitalizations slowly come down, but said they’re not yet low enough to consider relaxing restrictions.
“It’s encouraging news and a signal that we are making meaningful progress,” she said. “While hospitalizations are declining, the health system is still feeling the strain today and it’s impacting anyone who needs care.”
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Right now there are 604 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 110 in the ICU. That’s lower than Alberta’s peak hospitalization number on December 30, when there were 943 people in hospital. But today’s figure is a similar number of hospitalizations to early December, when the province enacted stricter restrictions.
With such a high number of COVID-19 patients staying in hospital, there’s less room for people with other medical problems to get the care they need, Hinshaw said.
“Hospital units fill up faster and there are fewer spaces available for people who suffer heart attacks, strokes, or other ailments,” she said. “People spend longer in emergency department while waiting for a bed … leaving albertans with broken bones and other less severe needs in waiting rooms.”