Four more St. Albert residents have died from COVID-19 and cases have dropped in the city over the past week, the province reported today.
The province reported on May 18 that the seven-day case rate per 100,000 was 100.6 for the reporting period from May 10 to May 16, compared to the 155.2 per 100,000 reported on May 11.
Data from the province showed there were 70 new COVID cases in St. Albert from May 10 to May 16, compared to the 108 cases reported last week.
The province reported an additional four St. Albert residents have died from the virus. There have been 80 COVID deaths in the city since the pandemic began.
Sturgeon County saw an increase in COVID cases from May 10 to May 16. The seven-day case rate per 100,000 was 78.8 compared to the 64.4 per 100,000 reported last week.
The number of COVID cases in the county from May 10 to May 16 was 22 compared to the 18 reported last week.
The total number of people who have died in the county from the virus remained at 18.
The province reported a decrease in COVID cases in Morinville on May 18. The seven-day case rate per 100,000 was 96.4 compared to the 157.7 reported last week.
The province reported the number of new cases in Morinville was 11, compared to the 18 new cases reported on May 11.
The total number of people who have died from COVID in Morinville remained at 17.
During a May 18 COVID update, Health Minister Jason Copping said the overall data shows the province is getting past the BA.2 wave.
Copping said this is the third week in a row the province has seen a drop in positivity rates. The average PCR test positivity rate was 19.93 per cent, a slight decrease from the 20.72 per cent reported last week.
Wastewater testing is also showing a downward trend at a number of sites, said Copping.
“Lethbridge, Edmonton, Calgary, and Red Deer are all well past their recent peaks, but still showing significant amounts of virus circulating. It makes sense that levels in larger centres are taking longer to drop with their higher population density,” he said.
Copping said the number of patients admitted to the hospital has also dropped since last week.
Data from the province reported on May 18 showed there were 1,165 Albertans in hospital with COVID-19. Last week the province reported 1,225 hospitalizations.
Copping said the number of people in ICU has remained relatively flat. Data from the province reported on May 18 showed there were 42 people admitted to ICU, a slight increase from the 37 ICU patients reported last week.
Alberta's chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said an average of around nine people per day died from COVID-19 between May 10 and May 16.
In Alberta, 4,452 people have died from the virus, as reported by the province on May 18.
“Deaths are usually one of the last indicators to fall. This is why these high numbers of deaths that we have seen in the past week, as well as this week, is not unexpected, although it is a tragic reminder of the severe impacts of this virus,” said Hinshaw.
Copping said the number of COVID cases is expected to decline with warmer weather.
Hinshaw warned that COVID would become like other respiratory diseases.
"We must remember that COVID will remain with us. We should expect it to return, especially when we get to colder months in the fall, and the start of the season when we traditionally see a rise in respiratory viruses,” said Hinshaw.