Sixteen newly-reported COVID-19 deaths Friday as hospitalizations, overall active cases continue to decline in Alberta

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Alberta reported 16 new COVID-19-related deaths Friday while active cases in the province continued to decline.

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In the latest COVID-19 update there were 1,051 new cases, up from 916 the day before.

Across the province there are 12,978 active cases, a drop from 13,423 active cases in Thursday’s update. In the Edmonton Zone, there are 3,050 – a decline from 3,281 the previous day. Those numbers have continued to drop since reaching a peak Sept. 26, 10 days after a series of new health restrictions and the vaccine passport program were announced.

On Friday, there were 1,000 patients in hospital, including 229 in intensive care — a drop from 1,016 Albertans in hospital with COVID-19 the day before, including 231 in ICUs across the province.

Alberta’s COVID-19 death toll sits at 2,946, with three new deaths among the 16 newly-reported in the Edmonton Zone.

Chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said on Twitter Friday of the 16 new deaths related to COVID-19 reported to Alberta Health in the past 24 hours, 75 per cent had been unvaccinated.

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Hinshaw reminded Albertans that private indoor gatherings are limited to 10 vaccinated people from a maximum of two households, with no restrictions for those under age 12.

The test positivity rate as of Friday’s update, among 14,054 tests, was 7.5 per cent. The average over seven days sat at 8.1 per cent.

Across the province, 85.8 per cent of the eligible population had received one dose of vaccine, or 73 per cent of the total population, while 76.7 per cent of the eligible population had received a second dose, or 65.3 of the total population.

Meanwhile, NDP Leader Rachel Notley called on Thursday for the Alberta government to follow British Columbia’s lead  and allow for families to reserve a spot for children aged five to 11 for COVID-19 vaccines when they become available.

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“Failure to prepare in advance for inevitable developments has left Albertans behind on several fronts already. Let’s try and change that record when it comes to protecting our kids,” said Notley.

Alberta Health spokeswoman Lisa Glover said in a statement parents can register their children aged five to 11 so their account is ready to book an appointment immediately after vaccines are approved and appointments are publicly announced for this age group. While parents can register online with a health card number, name and phone number, Glover did not outline how appointments could be pre-booked for COVID-19 shots for those under the age of 12.

Health Canada has yet to approve any COVID-19 vaccines for those under the age of 12.

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