COVID-19 hospitalizations and ICU admissions in Alberta continue to rise

There were 1,101 Albertans with COVID-19 in hospital as of Wednesday, Alberta Health reported, up 12 people from Tuesday.

As of Wednesday, 108 of those COVID-19 hospital patients were being treated in ICUs. That number also increased from Tuesday, when it was 104.

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health urged people Tuesday to remain vigilant and get vaccinated, saying the province’s acute-care system is under enormous stress amid the Omicron wave.

Six deaths were reported to Alberta Health in the last 24 hours.

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: Alberta reports about 3,279 new cases in past 24 hours, 1,089 in hospital, 9 deaths' COVID-19: Alberta reports about 3,279 new cases in past 24 hours, 1,089 in hospital, 9 deaths

COVID-19: Alberta reports about 3,279 new cases in past 24 hours, 1,089 in hospital, 9 deaths

Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 surpassed 1,000 for the first time since Oct. 14 on Sunday, Dr. Deena Hinshaw added.

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Alberta Health confirmed 3,837 new cases through PCR lab testing in the last 24 hours out of 10,005 tests.

Changes to PCR testing availability in recent weeks mean these confirmed cases are just a fraction of the total number of cases in the community.

Read more: Alberta hospitals under ‘serious pressure’ from 5th COVID-19 wave: Hinshaw

AHS president and CEO Dr. Verna Yiu penned an op-ed in the Edmonton Journal Tuesday.

“Every single person requiring ICU care during the past two years has received it, despite an unprecedented increase in demand that has pushed our system and our people to the limit,” Yiu wrote.

Click to play video: 'Alberta to offer 4th COVID-19 vaccine dose to immunocompromised people' Alberta to offer 4th COVID-19 vaccine dose to immunocompromised people

Alberta to offer 4th COVID-19 vaccine dose to immunocompromised people

But she admitted AHS is once again scaling up capacity.

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“We don’t yet know exactly how Omicron will impact us but based on the evidence, we’re adjusting our contingency plans to add hundreds more spaces in addition to ICU, for patients who need an intermediate level of hospital care,” wrote Yiu.

Read more: Alberta health minister tests positive for COVID-19 as hospitalizations surpass 1,000

As the Omicron variant continues to surge in Alberta, Hinshaw urged everyone to continue to follow public health guidelines and to get vaccinated, including a booster shot if they haven’t received one yet.

Fourth doses of COVID-19 vaccine will soon be available for Albertans 18 and older with immunocompromising conditions, five months after receiving their third dose.

Beginning Jan. 20, eligible individuals can book appointments for fourth doses online, with participating AHS pharmacies or by calling 811.

Read more: COVID-19: Edmonton Public School Board pushes for easier pediatric vaccine access

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