Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinhsaw addressed the importance of getting an influenza shot during the October 14th, 2021 COVID-19 update.
“Every year, the arrival of cooler temperatures and shorter days signals the start of cold and flu season and the same holds true this year. Our annual influenza campaign officially starts on Monday and we will be releasing more information tomorrow on how to book your appointment,” said Hinshaw.
Although influenza and COVID-19 are different illnesses, the doctor says several symptoms are the same. In addition to that, several of the measures that are in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 also stop the spread of influenza.
“Despite conducting about two and a half times the number of influenza tests, as we did the previous year. We had zero lab confirmed cases of seasonal influenza and no influenza deaths. This season, we have already had three confirmed seasonal lab confirmed influenza cases,” said Hinshaw.
Last year, there was a record of 1.65 million doses of the flu shot given to Albertans. It was the highest uptake in flu shots the province has seen in 10 years and Hinshaw hopes to see the trend continue into this year.
People can get the flu shot at local pharmacies, and doctor’s offices. For children under the age of five, immunization will be offered at clinics.
In order to avoid further strain on the hospital, Hinshaw encourages people to get their flu shot as soon as possible. Additionally, you can arrange to receive your influenza vaccine and a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time.
President and CEO of Alberta Health Services, Dr. Verna Yiu joined the update to provide an update to ICU’s in Alberta.
“This morning our ICU’s were at 76 per cent occupancy and we had 97 ICU spaces throughout the province available for new patients who require critical care. This is a significant improvement from just one month ago when our ICU’s were close to 90 per cent occupancy,” said Yiu.
Yiu is grateful to see COVID-19 cases decline in ICU’s and in hospital and hopes to see the new trends continue.
“I know that while the numbers look more positive, the pressures in the hospitals remain high. Improving numbers does not mean that their workload suddenly returns to normal. Their days continue to be extraordinary and their efforts remain above and beyond what is usually expected of them,” said Yiu.
She urged Albertans to continue to follow the current restrictions in place in hopes of giving Alberta health care workers a bit of respite.
October 14th new case numbers:
- 916 new cases of the virus for October 13th
- 13,423 active cases in Alberta
- 1,016 people are hospitalized
- 231 people admitted to ICUs
- 30 new deaths reported in the last 24 hours
- 2,930 total deaths from the virus
Active case numbers in the Central Alberta area:
- 127 active cases in the City of Lacombe
- 203 active cases in the County of Lacombe
- 558 active cases in the City of Red Deer
- 147 active cases in the County of Red Deer
- 291 active cases in the County of Ponoka
- 75 active cases in the Town of Sylvan Lake
- 75 active cases in the County of Stettler
**Not all cases in the Central Zone have been included.