The number of patients being treated in Alberta hospitals for COVID-19 continues to fall along with the testing positivity rate.
Both are considered key indicators of the prevalence of the virus, which claimed another 24 lives, including three in Central Zone, over the past week. COVID has now claimed 4,591 Albertans.
As of Monday, there were 719 people in hospital — down from 816 a week ago — with COVID, including 19 — down from 24 — in intensive care, according Alberta Health’s weekly update on Wednesday, which covers the June 7-13 period.
In Central Zone, there are 97 people in hospital, including one in ICU. There have been 595 COVID-related deaths in the zone. No new deaths were reported in Red Deer, where 111 have died since the pandemic began.
The average positivity rate from PCR testing was 13.2 per cent — down from 15 per cent for the period ending June 6.
Another 1,442 cases have been identified in the past week. Since the pandemic began, 586,108 confirmed cases of COVID.
Wednesday was the first day of Step 3 in the province’s reopening plan. Masks are no longer mandatory on public, but are still required at AHS and health-care facilities.
It is no longer mandatory — although it remains recommended — that people isolate if they have COVID symptoms or test positive.
The latest Omicron wave peaked on April 26 with 20.7 new COVID admissions per day per million people. As of June 9, that number had falen to 6.6 new hospitalizations per day per million people.
In Red Deer, the number of new COVID cases over the previous seven days ending on Monday was 36 — down 14 over the previous seven days. The seven-day case rate is 33.8 per 100,000 people, compared with 47 a week ago.
The total number of Red Deer cases since the pandemic began is now 15,224.
In Red Deer County, there were 16 new cases over seven days, up three from the seven days prior.
Sylvan Lake has had seven new cases, Lacombe eight, Olds six, Wetaskiwin two, Camrose two and Drumheller four.
Lacombe County has had four, Clearwater County three, County of Stettler two, Mountain View County seven, Kneehill County three and Camrose County none.
On the local geographic area setting, Wetaskiwin County, including Maskwacis, has had seven new cases, while Ponoka, including East Ponoka County, had none and Rimbey, including West Ponoka County and part of Lacombe County, had two.