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Alberta breaks 4 COVID-19 records in a row

Since last Thursday, Alberta has seen 4 consecutive days of breaking the previous records of new daily cases of COVID-19.

On Sunday, Alberta hit 1,569 new cases, another daily record. The previous record was set the day before, on Saturday, when we hit 1,333 cases. In fact, it made for 4 consecutive record-breaking days, something we didn’t even see back in the spring.

As well, this is higher than both Ontario and Québec, who reported 1,534 and 1,154 new cases, respectively, as of Sunday.

Yesterday’s numbers were up in both of these provinces, but slightly down in Alberta. Even so, yesterday was Alberta’s second day in a row where we were over 1,500 new cases.

Here’s how all the provinces compare in the number of new cases, as well as infection rates.

2nd highest infection rate

New casesRate per
100,000
Manitoba54639.59
Alberta1,54935.03
Saskatchewan23519.94
Québec1,16413.58
BC59411.54
Ontario1,58910.78
New Brunswick151.92
Nova Scotia111.12
PEI10.63
Newfoundland & Labrador20.38
Population from 2020 3rd quarter estimates; case numbers are as of 23 Nov 2020

This shows that Alberta’s rate of infection is drastically higher than those of nearly every other province. Not only does Alberta have the second highest infection rate in the country, but its rate is nearly twice as high as Québec’s and over 3 times as high as Ontario’s.

With the recent rise in COVID-19 cases in Alberta, I thought I’d put together a story looking at the numbers from various perspectives.

New daily cases increasing more rapidly

For example, here is a list of the daily change in cases over the last week.

New cases
23 November1,549
22 November1,569
21 November1,333
20 November1,142
19 November1,101
18 November730
17 November760

The total number of new cases for the past week was 8,184, which gives us a 7-day average of 1,169. We had 5 days over 1,000 new cases.

Compare that to the previous week:

New cases
16 November845
15 November982
14 November1,026
13 November896
12 November850
11 November668
10 November717

The total number of new cases for that week was 5,984, which gives us a 7-day average of 855. We had just 1 day over 1,000 new cases.

That means over the past week, the total number of new cases increased by 36.8% over the previous week, and the 7-day average increased by 36.7%.

These increases are higher than the increases that last week saw over the previous week. Last week’s total new cases were 26.3% higher than the previous week’s 4,737, for example, and 26.3% over its 7-day average of 677.

Related to this is how much the new cases are increasing by each day. Here’s a chart of all the new daily cases since 1 July 2020. Or more specifically, how much the number of new cases changed compared to the previous day’s totals.

We can see that although the data varies for the entire recording period, the variance increases widely starting in October. While there are several days where the number of new cases dropped significantly, there are also several where the number jumped significantly.

That red line shows how the data is trending. Even though there are several days with a drop in cases, the day–to-day changes in new cases has been still trending up over the last month or so.

Highest active cases in Canada

And with all these record-breaking increases, Alberta’s total active cases will also be affected. In fact, here’s how Alberta compares to the other provinces regarding total active cases:

Active casesRate per
100,000
Alberta13,166297.75
Ontario13,00488.26
Québec10,997128.25
Manitoba8,498616.13
BC7,360142.98
Saskatchewan2,864242.98
New Brunswick8911.39
Nova Scotia515.21
Newfoundland & Labrador214.02
PEI21.25

Alberta doesn’t just have the second highest infection rate in the country, it also has the most active cases in the country.

That means—given that it’s the 4th largest province by population—it also has one of the highest rates in Canada. In fact, its number of 297.75 active cases per 100,000 people is the second highest rate of all the provinces. Only Manitoba is higher, at about 616.

COVID-19 deaths increasing more rapidly

The number of deaths have also increased, which is unsurprising. After all, if the number of cases goes up, so does the number of deaths. But it’s not just that they’re increasing, but how much they’re increasing by.

Here are the new deaths reported each day since 24 August. Clearly the number of new deaths is on the rise.

And unless either Albertans change their behaviour on their own or the province forces them to do so, the number of cases will continue rising exponentially, the number of deaths will continue to increase, and our infection rate will continue to rise.

Something must be done. Because what we’re doing isn’t working.

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By Kim Siever

I live in Lethbridge with my spouse and 4 of our 6 children. I’m a writer, focusing on political news, social issues, and the occasional poem. My politics are radically left.

I’m also dichotomally Mormon. And I’m a functional vegetarian: I have a blog post about that somewhere around here. My pronouns are he/him, and I’m queer.

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