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100% of new COVID-related ICU admissions unvaccinated, 17 deaths reported

Last Updated Sep 23, 2021 at 4:29 pm MST

This 2020 electron microscope made available by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention image shows the spherical coronavirus particles from the first U.S. case of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-C.S. Goldsmith, A. Tamin/ CDC via AP

CALGARY — Hospitalizations and ICU admissions continue to climb to new, record highs in Alberta as daily COVID-19 infections also stay on the rise.

Over the last day, 22 more people were admitted to the ICU in the province — 100 per cent of which were unvaccinated. In total, there are now 226 people in the ICU.

Alberta Health Services President and CEO, Dr. Verna Yiu, says ICU admissions remain concerning as 73 per cent of Albertans in the ICU have COVID-19.

WATCH: Dr. Deena Hinshaw provides an update on COVID-19 in Alberta. 

“We have never ever had that number of total patients in ICU before,” said Yiu. “Never with the prior waves, and never in the history of this province, and each day we see a new high.”

Yiu says over the past five days, the average number of COVID-related ICU admissions have been more than 23 per day.

She reiterated what she has said in the past, if it weren’t for surge capacity, hospitals would have run out of ICU capacity long ago.

“As of noon (Thursday), we have 350 ICU beds across the province, which keeps our ICU capacity at 89 per cent. We have added 177 ICU surge spaces, which means that we have more than doubled our baseline of ICU beds.

“Without those additional beds, our capacity would be at 179 per cent.”


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Meanwhile, there are now 1,058 people in hospital, an increase of 18 from Wednesday.

Deaths due to COVID-19 also continue to climb in Alberta, as 17 more people have died over the last day.

As for new COVID-19 infections, 1,660 new cases were reported on Thursday.

The new cases come after around 18,000 tests, for a positivity rate of roughly 9.4 per cent.

On the vaccination front, more than 5.89 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to date in Alberta.

Of those 12 and older in the province, 82 per cent have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 73.2 per cent are fully immunized.