COVID-19 Updates: State of public health emergency declared.
The Government of Alberta has introduced a new “low” modelling scenario estimating 298 Albertans will require hospitalization and 95 will require critical care when the virus reaches its peak. If current trends continue, this scenario will become the most likely scenario for Alberta.
Updated modelling scenarios continue to estimate that Alberta’s outbreak will reach its peak in late May. However, the number of Albertans hospitalized at the peak of the virus is predicted to be lower than originally estimated. This reflects Alberta’s experience over the past few weeks and the proportion of cases actually entering hospital and intensive care units.
“The data show us that our efforts to lower the peak of the virus are working, but we must remain vigilant. We continue to refine our modelling in order to ensure our health-care system is prepared. While we are still a ways off from returning to our normal way of life, our government is working around the clock on a phased approach to relaunch our economy safely. It is essential Albertans continue to exercise common sense and follow public health guidance so we can get the economy moving again as quickly as possible."
As a result of aggressive public health measures put in place, the probable scenario now estimates 596 people in Alberta will require hospitalization, with 190 requiring critical care on the days when the virus reaches its peak. With Alberta’s younger-than-average population and our aggressive testing measures, which are able to catch cases with less severe symptoms, Alberta Health’s new “low” scenario is fortunately becoming our most realistic.
Alberta Health has scaled up the capacity of the province’s health-care system in order to ensure it is prepared to support patients at the peak of the pandemic in any scenario.
Existing public health measures remain in place to stop the spread of COVID-19.
- The model uses several key assumptions, including:
- not all cases are detected
- transmission is more common within an age group, rather than between age groups
- there is no asymptomatic transmission
- people are infectious for five to 10 days
- all ICU patients require ventilation
- overall, nine per cent of cases are hospitalized and two per cent require ICU, but this varies significantly by age. The low scenario assumes 4.5 per cent of cases are hospitalized and one per cent require ICU, which aligns with actual results.
- The most important measure Albertans can take to prevent respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, is to practise good hygiene.
- This includes cleaning your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, avoiding touching your face, coughing or sneezing into your elbow or sleeve, and disposing of tissues appropriately.
- Any individual exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, including cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat or shortness of breath, is eligible for testing. People can access testing by completing the COVID-19 self-assessment online. A separate self-assessment tool is available for health-care and shelter workers, enforcement and first responders. After completing the form, there is no need to call 811.