Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer relayed some scary Halloween facts to Albertans on Thursday.
Active COVID cases in the province are now almost double what they were last Halloween, said Dr. Deena Hinshaw during her twice-weekly update.
Last year, 141 people were in hospital with the virus, compared to 912 people who are in Alberta hospitals today, she added.
Hinshaw urged families to make safe Halloween plans so that COVID-19 cases continue to trend downward in the province.
Trick or treating can still be safe and fun if everyone wears a mask, and householders use tongs, or space treats out on the porch for pick-up, she added.
Hinshaw noted sick people should stay home and not hand out treats.
And “now is not the time for large Halloween parties,” she added, noting the provincial website sets out different rules for the vaccinated and unvaccinated regarding indoor and outdoor gatherings.
Alberta saw 770 new active COVID-19 cases on Thursday, decreasing the provincial total to 10,434.
In the City of Red Deer there are 403 active cases. This is 21 more cases than the 382 reported in Wednesday’s update, according to geospatial mapping on the provincial government’s website.
Eight new deaths were also reported in Alberta, bringing the province’s death toll to 3,014. Four of the new deaths were in the Central zone.
Of the new viral cases, 485 (62.10 per cent) were unvaccinated, 55 (7.04 per cent) were partially vaccinated and 241 (30.86) were completely vaccinated. Of the total active cases, 6,625 (63.49 per cent) are unvaccinated, 789 (7.56 per cent) are partially vaccinated and 3,020 (28.94 per cent) are fully vaccinated.
Provincially, there are 912 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 201 in intensive care units. In Alberta Health Services’ Central zone, there are 174 hospitalizations, including 20 in ICU.
Red Deer County has 122 active cases of the virus, Clearwater County has 138, Lacombe County has 122, the City of Lacombe has 83, Sylvan Lake has 55, Stettler County has 50, Mountain View County has 46 and Olds has 25. Kneehill County has 70 active cases and Drumheller has 19.
Wetaskiwin County, including Maskwacis, has 267 active cases. Ponoka, including East Ponoka County, has 64 and Rimbey (West Ponoka County and parts of Lacombe County) has 57.
So far, 86.3 per cent of eligible Albertans (age 12 and older) have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 78.1 per cent have been fully vaccinated.
About 231,000 immuno-compromised Albertans and elderly Albertans have received their third shot. For those with weakened immune systems, Hinshaw said third shots are being given as part of their vaccination regime, eight weeks after their second shot.
For the elderly (Albertans aged 75 and older or Indigenous people 65 or older), third shots are given as boosters and should be received six months after their second shot, when the vaccine’s protection begins to wane.