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'Good news but also a word of caution,' says Kenney as COVID cases continue to drop

The province may have hit and surpassed peak infection, according to Kenney, but hospitalizations have continued to climb.
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COVID-19 cases have dropped by 119 in St. Albert since Tuesday, according to data from the province released Jan. 20, 2022. SCREENSHOT/Photo

COVID-19 cases in St. Albert have continued to decline, and Premier Jason Kenney said Thursday early indications show Alberta has reached and surpassed peak infections in the province.

Provincial data, current from Jan. 19, showed active COVID cases in the city have dropped to 1,054 from 1,173 since Tuesday. The number of St. Albertans who have died from the virus remains at 55.

Data from the province showed 247 active COVID cases in Sturgeon County, a drop of 23 since Tuesday, while the total number of people who have died from the virus remains at 15.

Morinville's active COVID cases have also decreased. The province reported 139 cases on Thursday, compared to 155 earlier this week. The number of people who have died from the virus remains at 13.

Alberta-wide active COVID cases have decreased by 5,704. The province reported 64,519 active cases of the virus on Thursday afternoon. The total number of people who have died from the virus is 3,421.

“If the variant performs in Alberta like it has in jurisdictions all around the world, we can reasonably expect that we may be beginning on the downslope of transmission. Having said that, there continues to be growing pressure in our hospitals and we have to be very mindful of that,” said Kenney during Thursday’s COVID update.

Despite the drop in active COVID cases throughout the province, hospitalizations continued to increase, and the peak is not expected to be reached for another two weeks.

The province reported 1,131 hospitalizations on Thursday, compared to the 1,089 reported on Tuesday. The number of people in ICU has increased by four to 108.

“I think we can reasonably expect to see 1,500 or more COVID patients and non-ICU beds. When we reach the hospitalization peak a little later in January. Again, many of them will be incidental cases, but still, with many healthcare workers having to take time for self-isolation themselves, all of that will add significant pressure to the healthcare system,” Kenney said Thursday.