Infection with COVID-19 was a contributing cause of death for a one-year-old Alberta child, the province said Tuesday.
The death was one of 10 linked to COVID-19 reported by chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw at an afternoon news conference.
“While I will note that this child had complex pre-existing medical conditions that played a significant role, this does not diminish the tragic loss of one so young,” Hinshaw said.
“My thoughts are with the ones left to mourn this individual and all others, including anyone who has had to say goodbye to somebody they care about, no matter the cause of death.”
The death is Alberta’s first pediatric death from COVID-19. It was announced the same day the province detailed its plans to roll out vaccines against the virus to children aged five to 11.
Last month, Alberta reported a 14-year-old boy had died of the virus, but it was later revealed he actually died of brain cancer. The error prompted the province to conduct a review of suspected COVID-19 deaths of those under the age of 18 before reporting them.
Alberta’s death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic totals 3,227. That count includes 33 people in their 30s, 14 people in their 20s and one 18-year-old.
The province also reported 253 new cases of the virus on Tuesday. It’s the fewest cases tallied in a single day since Aug. 8, though the infections come from only 5,311 tests, representing a 4.8 per cent test positivity rate. There are now 5,001 active COVID-19 cases in Alberta, down from 5,311 the previous day.
A total of 475 Albertans are currently in hospital with COVID-19, 94 of whom are in ICUs. It’s a significant drop in ICU admissions since the peak of the fourth wave, but overall usage still remains above Alberta’s baseline of 173 general adult ICU beds.
Elsewhere Tuesday, Health Minister Jason Copping announced Alberta will update its QR code proof of vaccine to become compliant with the federal government’s vaccine proof, which will be required for domestic and international travel beginning Nov. 30.
Alberta was the final province to sign on to the federal vaccine proof system. The updated QR code is slated to be available Wednesday at