The province’s chief medical officer of health is reminding Albertans to stay safe ahead of the long weekend.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Friday the province is in just Step 1 of 3 for lifting public health measures, as the Omicron wave subsides and pressure on the health-care system eases.
“As we move forward, it will be vital that we find a way to respect each other’s comfort levels, previous experiences, choices and risk context, as different as they may be from our own,” said Hinshaw.
Alberta enters Step 2 of its plan March 1, if hospitalizations continue trending downwards.
The government of Alberta identified 619 new cases Friday — the positivity rate was 21.5 per cent on testing conducted Thursday. There are now 15,384 active cases of the virus in the province, to go along with 500,756 recovered cases.
Another eight deaths due to implications of COVID-19 were reported Friday, bringing the province’s death toll to 3,830.
There are 1,933 active cases in Alberta Health Services’ central zone, including 442 in Red Deer, which is 41 fewer than the 483 cases reported Thursday.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Red Deer has also reported 12,627 recovered cases and 91 deaths.
Meanwhile, Red Deer County has 150 active cases, Sylvan Lake has 80, Lacombe County has 75, Olds has 69, Mountain View County has 67, Clearwater County has 66, the City of Lacombe has 54 and Stettler County has 38.
Wetaskiwin County, including Maskwacis, has 307 active cases, while Ponoka, including East Ponoka County, has 57 and Rimbey, including West Ponoka County and part of Lacombe County, has 27.
The City of Camrose has 100, Kneehill County has 56, Drumheller had 36 and Camrose County has 27.
Provincially, there are 1,494 people currently in hospital with COVID-19, including 116 who have been admitted into intensive care units. This is a slight drop from Thursday’s update in both numbers.
In the central zone, there are 160 hospitalizations, including eight in the ICU.
Over the last week, 29.8 per cent of new non-ICU admissions are incidental cases. COVID-19 is the primary cause of admission or a contributing cause in 68.4 per cent of cases. The remaining 1.8 per cent are undetermined. For ICU, 13.3 per cent were incidental, 86.7 per cent of new admissions were due to COVID.