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3 children among the 10 new COVID deaths reported in Alberta since last week

New COVID-19 severe outcomes in the most recent Alberta Health report vs. the report from the week before. The week of the most recent report is Jan. 14 to Jan. 20, 2024. (Data via Alberta Health, table by Robson Fletcher/CBC - image credit)
New COVID-19 severe outcomes in the most recent Alberta Health report vs. the report from the week before. The week of the most recent report is Jan. 14 to Jan. 20, 2024. (Data via Alberta Health, table by Robson Fletcher/CBC - image credit)

Another 10 Albertans have died from COVID, according to the latest weekly data released by the provincial government, three of whom were children.

These mark the first pediatric deaths due to COVID reported in the current respiratory virus season.

The death toll, among all ages, for the current season now stands at 430.

Two of the children who died of COVID were between the ages of one and four years old, according to a statement from Alberta Health.

The third child, who was between the ages of five and nine, died of a co-infection of COVID and influenza.

"The deaths reported are all historic deaths that would have occurred between October and December 2023," Alberta Health spokesperson Charity Wallace said in an email.

Wallace said Alberta Health would not reveal where in the province the pediatric deaths occurred, "due to privacy concerns."

The latest release also shows an additional 103 people were hospitalized for COVID, including 11 admitted to intensive care units (ICU).

In total, there have now been 3,518 hospitalizations this season, including 216 admissions to ICU.

In general, Alberta Health noted respiratory illnesses appear to be on a downward trajectory.

"Cases of influenza and RSV have been declining in the recent weeks," Wallace said in an email last week. "Although COVID-19 saw a slight increase following the holiday season, it has been steadily declining since mid-November. Hospitalizations are following a similar, delayed trajectory downward for influenza and COVID-19.

Age breakdown and data notes

Admissions do not include patients with "incidental" cases of COVID-19 admitted to hospital/ICU for other reasons.

Alberta Health says the deaths include those "resulting from a clinically compatible illness in a lab-confirmed COVID-19 case, unless there is a clear alternative cause of death identified (e.g. trauma, poisoning, drug overdose, etc.)"

These numbers represent the difference between hospitalizations and deaths in the province's most recent weekly report compared to the report from the week before, for the 2023-24 respiratory virus tracking season.

The season runs from Aug. 27, 2023, to Aug. 24, 2024.

Older people tend to be the most vulnerable to severe outcomes from COVID, but younger people can be affected, too.

The table below breaks down the total number of hospitalizations, ICU admissions and deaths in the current respiratory-virus season, by age range.

You'll also find the population-adjusted rate (per 100,000 people) for each age range.

This data all comes from the provincial government's respiratory virus dashboard, which is updated weekly.

There are often delays in reporting, however, meaning not all deaths and hospitalizations that actually happened during the latest weekly reporting period are included.

Each weekly report typically includes severe outcomes that occurred in prior weeks but were only just added to the data.

For more on why, see this story: