The number of Albertans hospitalized with COVID-19 has reached levels not seen in nearly two months as the Omicron variant spreads rampantly across the province.
As of Friday’s update, there are 504 people being treated in hospital for the disease, a slight increase from Thursday when there were 498. It is the first time since mid-November that the number of hospital admissions has surpassed 500, provincial data shows.
The number of patients in intensive care remains at 64.
Meanwhile, two more people have died from COVID-19. The total number of Albertans who have died from the disease since the start of the pandemic now stands at 3,338.
Alberta has again set a new record daily number of cases, despite the provincial government discouraging PCR testing for most situations.
Public health officials reported 6,257 new COVID-19 cases on Friday. They were detected from 16,231 PCR tests, resulting in a test positivity rate of 38.22 percent provincial.
Of the Alberta Health Services zones, the Calgary zone has the highest test positivity rate at 43.12 percent.
There are now 43,414 known active COVID-19 cases across Alberta — another pandemic peak for the province.
Rapid test results are not included in these figures, however, so the number of new cases and known active cases is believed to be much higher.
As of Friday’s update, 85.4 percent of Albertans ages 12 and older have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine; 38 percent of children ages 5 to 11 have received the first dose.
About 73 percent of the county’s total population, including people who are ineligible for the vaccine, are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19.