Alberta's number of active COVID-19 cases rises by 284 over weekend, R-value at 1.48

With low case numbers and a large portion of the population vaccinated against COVID-19, many Albertans are getting reacquainted with having fun. But health experts warn, the good times may not stick around. Morgan Black reports.

The number of active COVID-19 cases in Alberta has surpassed the 1,000-mark again as it jumped from 799 on Friday to 1,083 on Monday.

On Monday, Alberta Health reported that the coronavirus’ R-value in Alberta was at 1.48 in the province from July 19 to July 25.

An R-value below 1 means the rate of transmission was decreasing during a specific time frame while an R-value of 1 or higher means it was increasing.

The Calgary zone had an R-value of 1.50 during the same time frame while the Edmonton zone had an R-value of 1.37.

READ MORE: Number of active COVID-19 cases in Alberta rises by 123 on Friday 

Of Alberta’s active COVID-19 cases, the Calgary zone has more than any other zone with 654. The Edmonton zone has 203, the South zone has 85, the North zone has 83, the Central zone has 53 and five cases have not been linked to a particular zone.

While no new coronavirus deaths have been announced in Alberta since Friday, the province added 387 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend: 151 on July 23, 142 on July 24 and 94 on July 25.

The number of people in Alberta hospitals — and intensive care units — because of the disease dropped slightly over the weekend.

Hospitalizations dropped from 84 on Friday to 83 on Monday while the number of people in ICUs went from 26 on Friday to 21 on Monday.

READ MORE: COVID-19: Alberta’s first dose vaccination rate reaches 75% 

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province’s chief medical officer of health, tweeted Monday that 75.4 per cent of eligible Albertans have now received their first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and that 63.4 per cent have now received two doses.

“Thank you for doing your part to protect yourselves and your loved ones,” she tweeted.

Since the pandemic began, 2,322 people in Alberta have lost their lives to COVID-19.

Doctor believes Alberta is in early stages of fourth wave of COVID-19

“I wish I didn’t have to say it, but we are in the very early stages of a fourth wave,” Dr. Noel Gibney said. “This wave… (is) going to be different.

“It’s going to impact primarily the unvaccinated people in the province.”

Gibney is a professor emeritus of critical care medicine at the University of Alberta. He said while Alberta is in a “lull” at this particular moment in time, COVID-19 is far from over.

“The reality is if you are unvaccinated, there is a high probability the Delta variant is going to get you,” he said.

“A lot of young people tend not to go to hospital… but even if a small proportion end up in hospital, a small proportion of a large number is still a large number.”

Hospital numbers could still go up. Gibney predicts that by mid-September, Alberta will be dealing with “a significant problem.”

“But at this stage, with current numbers, it’s reasonable to live your life in a normal way,” he said. “In between the waves is an ideal time to travel.

“For now, going to a restaurant or a bar, that’s a reasonable thing. If you’re not vaccinated… not so much.”

WATCH: Global News videos about the COVID-19 situation in Alberta

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