Alberta’s COVID-19 death toll has risen to 4,003, the provincial government announced Friday. (Black Press file photo)

Alberta’s COVID-19 death toll has risen to 4,003, the provincial government announced Friday. (Black Press file photo)

Alberta’s COVID-19 death toll climbs above 4,000

Alberta’s COVID-19 death toll has climbed above 4,000.

Eleven new deaths were reported by the provincial government Friday, bringing the death toll to 4,003 – 508 of those deaths were in Alberta Health Services’ central zone.

On Friday, the government announced it had identified 473 new COVID-19 cases in Alberta. There are now 6,545 active cases in the province, including 980 in the central zone.

The City of Red Deer has 278 active cases, according to geospatial mapping on the provincial government’s website. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the city has also recorded 13,209 recovered cases and 97 deaths.

Elsewhere in the central zone, the City of Lacombe has 69 active cases, Red Deer County has 52, Clearwater County has 48, Lacombe County has 27 and Olds has 18. Sylvan Lake, Stettler County and Mountain View County have 25 each.

Wetaskiwin County, including Maskwacis, has 93 active cases, while Ponoka, including East Ponoka County, has 10 and Rimbey, including West Ponoka County and part of Lacombe County, has eight.

The City of Camrose has 48, Kneehill County has 15, Camrose County has 11 and Drumheller has 10.

Provincially, 1,045 people are in hospital with COVID-19, including 74 in intensive care units. There are 120 hospitalizations, seven in the ICU, in the central zone.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, said over the past week, 31.5 per cent of new non-ICU admissions were incidental cases.

“COVID-19 was the primary cause of admission or a contributing cause in 66 per cent of cases,” she said.

“The remaining 2.5 per cent were undetermined. For ICU, 14.3 per cent were incidental, 85.7 per cent of new admissions were due to COVID.”

Hinshaw said recent guidance from the Nation Advisory Committee on Immunization recommends waiting eight weeks after a COVID-19 infection before beginning or completing a primary series of vaccines and three months before getting a booster.

“If you have already received the vaccine at a shorter time interval, there is no need for concern,” she said.

“The recommendation provides a balance of benefit at a population level and is one factor to consider when you talk to your healthcare professional.”

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