Shomporko Desk:-The sharp rise in active COVID-19 cases over the previous week ought to be viewed as a “wake-up call” by every Albertan, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province’s chief medical officer of health, said Thursday at a news conference.
The province reported two additional passings on Thursday and 114 new cases of the disease.
“This should be a wake-up call,” Hinshaw said. “I am worried by these numbers.”
The use of acute-care beds to treat COVID-19 patients is moving toward the most elevated number of confirmations on any single day that Alberta has seen during the pandemic, Hinshaw said. The peak of 113 hospital admissions went ahead on April 30. The peak usage of intensive-care beds went ahead May 1, when 23 patients were in ICU.
On Thursday, 106 individuals were being treated in hospital for the disease, with 21 of them in ICU beds.
“Two weeks ago, we had seven Albertans in the ICU,” Hinshaw said.
“This is also a reminder that severe outcomes are not limited to the elderly. Twenty-four of those currently in the hospital are under the age of 60, including seven who are between the ages of 20 and 39.”
One out of 50 people aged 30 to 39 who were diagnosed with the illness required admission to hospital, Hinshaw said. For those aged 40 to 69, one in 20 required hospitalization. For the 70 to 79 age group, one in 10 people who caught the illness died. For those over 80, the odds of dying were one in four.
Those who are younger should remember that surviving the coronavirus can still be “awful and life-changing,” she said. “There can be long-term damage, such as a higher risk of diabetes, and lung damage that doesn’t go away when the infection ends.
“Regardless of age, we don’t yet know what impact COVID-19 will have on your lifelong health.”
Though Calgary’s numbers have been climbing fastest in Alberta, even rural areas are seeing rising numbers, she said. The province’s central zone, which has not seen high case numbers so far, now has 33 people in a hospital, seven of them in the ICU.
Alberta has seen the number of active cases rise by more than 400 over the past week.
An Alberta Health update released on July 16 reported 854 active cases. The most recent update, released Thursday, reported 1,293 cases — an increase of 439.
Whether case numbers go up or down in the coming weeks will depend in large part on what precautions people take over the next ten to 14 days and beyond, Hinshaw said.
“The numbers of new cases we are seeing today reflect trends and behaviour one to two weeks ago. Even if we all implemented all public health guidance perfectly starting tomorrow, we will still likely have increased numbers for at least one to two more weeks.
“If we want to bring this under control by early August, now is the time to act.”
Photo credit: CHRIS SCHWARZ / Government of Alberta
News source: CBC News