COVID-19: Alberta reports 6,257 new cases, more than 500 hospitalizations

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Alberta broke the 6,000 mark in daily cases for the first time on Friday, as hospitalizations climbed above 500 for the first time since mid-November.

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The province reported 6,257 in the past 24 hours, pushing Alberta’s active case load to 43,514, an increase of 3,617 from the previous day.

The Calgary Zone has 20,633 cases, while the Edmonton Zone has 16,269.

There are now 504 Albertans in hospital with COVID-19, an increase of six from the previous day and the most since 516 were reported in hospital on Nov. 17, 2021.

There was no change in the number of patients in intensive care units, with 64 currently admitted.

Two additional deaths were reported on Friday.

HSAA calls for full disclosure from the provincial government regarding Omicron and health care workers

The president of the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) is calling on the provincial government to inform Albertans how the Omicron variant is affecting health-care workers and the potential of staff shortages.

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HSAA said in a Friday news release there is a “disconnect” between the lack of public health measure and what Alberta members, other provinces and municipalities are reporting — all these sources are saying staffing levels are being severely impacted, while Alberta Health Services (AHS) has been saying there are no impacts to services and response times.

“Given the volume of cases being reported and the experience of previous waves this crisis is getting worse and to say there have been no impacts defies logic, said Mike Parker, HSAA president. “AHS needs to tell us the number of health-care workers unable to work due to COVID-19.”

Parker said every Albertan has the right to know how devastating the next weeks might be and be able to demand government action based on that information.

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“Our members are being asked to work extra shifts and mandatory overtime while also having vacation cancelled,” said Parker. “AHS needs to let us all know exactly what impact Omicron is having on our public health care system and what the plan is to address it.”

Other provinces have released information about Omicron’s impact on health-care workers, said Parker.

On Monday, NDP Leader Rachel Notely called on the provincial government to release a two-week forecast for hospital admissions in Alberta — something she said AHS constantly maintains.

Ontario recently released a two-week forecast showing hospitals being overwhelmed in the near future, she said.

“Jason Kenney and the UCP know what the threat to Alberta hospitals looks like and they must tell Albertans the truth,” said Notley.

ktaniguchi@postmedia.com

twitter.com/kellentaniguchi

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