Alberta has seen roughly 10,000 ‘excess’ deaths since 2020, and COVID doesn’t explain it all – CBC

COVID underreporting, health-system overcapacity, alcohol and poison drugs blamed

Feb 02, 2023

The number of Albertans who died over the last three years was significantly higher than what would be considered normal for that stretch of time, and not all of that increase is attributed to COVID-19 deaths, according to new data from Statistics Canada.

Weekly death estimates from the federal agency show there were 9,821 extra deaths over the course of the pandemic, from early 2020 to the first week of November 2022. That is, close to 10,000 more people died than what would normally be expected for the same time period. Researchers call this number excess deaths.

The official count of COVID deaths suggests the disease is responsible for a large proportion of excess deaths. Alberta Health data shows 5,277 people died of COVID-19 between January 2020 and early November 2022.

But experts say COVID-19 numbers miss the true loss of life that has occurred since 2020. They point to a variety of potential factors for the other deaths, including the province’s toxic drugs crisis and an under-pressure medical system.

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