Alberta COVID-19 cases among unvaccinated could hit 4,000 a day: new modelling

Alberta Health is promising they will have more pandemic data and modeling available ‘in the coming weeks,’ however local doctors believe projections for Alberta’s 4th from BC COVID-19 Modelling Group are likely similar to government data.

CALGARY – Alberta’s COVID-19 cases could jump to 4,000 a day among unvaccinated people by this time next month, according to a group of researchers.

A report recently published from the B.C. COVID-19 Modelling Group says with the current health measures in place in Alberta, which the province recently extended to at least Sept. 27, we could see a significant jump in case numbers and hospitalizations.

“Just to remind the audience, we peaked out at 2,400 cases a day in May — and that was pretty bad, we had full ICU’s, full hospitals,” said said emergency doctor and Masks For Canada co-founder Dr. Joe Vipond.

The group’s modelling indicates that on top of the 4,000 cases among unvaccinated Albertans, we might see an additional 2,000 cases among people who have both doses of the vaccine.

Projected COVID-19 daily case incidence in Alberta, assuming vaccine effectiveness of 94% against severe disease, and keeping current controls in place. (CREDIT: BC COVID-19 Modelling Group)

Most of those cases among the vaccinated could go unnoticed, as researchers predict many people with two shots would be asymptomatic.

It also anticipates that hospitalizations will skyrocket, with over 4,000 people needing urgent care because of COVID-19 come October, assuming no further restrictions are put into place as cases grow.

“Since most infections are among those who are not vaccinated, the demand on the healthcare system per infection remains high enough to be a concern,” reads a report from the researchers.

The report does, however, clarify that researchers believe that a jump in cases will force the province to announce more restrictions, which would ultimately help limit the spread of the virus.

When it comes to back-to-school, the modelling predicts that transmission in schools–where there is a higher population of people who cannot get vaccinated–will be higher than last year.

The group recommends COVID-19 health measures be kept in place or expanded until the province reaches at least a 90 per cent vaccination rate.

Currently, 67.5 per cent of eligible Albertans are fully vaccinated.

On Friday, when Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced Alberta was holding off on putting the pin in the plan to stop widespread testing and mandatory quarantine for confirmed cases, she said hospitalizations were 62 per cent higher than projected and promised her team was “working on” releasing modelling.

On Monday, in an attempt to confirm a timeline with her office, CityNews was told simply, to look for “more information in the coming weeks.”

With files from Carly Robinson.

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