Everything you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Sunday, April 11
Alberta reported 1,183 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday with a 7.8% positivity rate
The latest COVID-19 numbers and restrictions:
- Alberta reported 1,183 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, after hitting the highest daily total this year with 1,521 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday. The province's total active cases now sits at 14,293.
- Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, urged all Albertans to reach out for a vaccine appointment as soon as they are eligible, during a live update on Friday.
- Variant cases continue to surge and are now the dominant strains of the virus, accounting for 50.5 per cent of total active cases.
- There were 942 new variant cases identified in the past 24 hours, a record high.
- There are 376 people in hospital, 90 of whom are in intensive care, and one more person has died for a total of 2,013 deaths in the province.
- Effective immediately, the province will strongly encourage all new COVID-19 cases to isolate away from other household members, in hotels or other separate accommodations, Hinshaw said Thursday.
- As of Thursday, the province will begin offering testing twice to close contacts of all confirmed cases, Hinshaw said, regardless of what strain they may have been exposed to.
- The provincial positivity rate is 7.8 per cent, and the R-value is 1.17, meaning that, on average, each person with COVID-19 will infect more than one other person.
- Alberta is expanding a rapid testing program in schools to test up to 200,000 students and 20,000 staff.
- Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced Tuesday afternoon that the province would return to Step 1 restrictions to try to slow the spread of highly contagious variants of the coronavirus.
- A growing third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is now expected to be worse than the two that came before, with Alberta on track to have up to 1,000 COVID-19 patients in hospital and 2,000 cases per day by the end of April.
- Kenney held a news conference Tuesday with Hinshaw, that laid out some alarming projections of what could happen over the next few weeks.
(Note the latest daily count of new cases in the above chart will usually vary slightly from the net new cases Alberta Health announces each day. For more on why, click here.)
- Kenney denied Tuesday that the increasing cases meant the province should have introduced restrictions sooner — saying if Albertans had been more careful, the province would not be in its current situation.
- On Wednesday, 16 United Conservative Party MLAs spoke out against their own government's move to impose more stringent public-health restrictions in the face of spiking COVID-19 cases.
- Some Calgary gym and restaurant owners are pushing back against new public health restrictions and vowing to keep their doors open to customers.
- Step 1 restrictions mandate that:
- Restaurants must close to in-person dining starting Friday, but will be open for takeout, delivery and patio service.
- Indoor social gatherings remain banned and outdoor get-togethers can have no more than 10 people and must follow public health restrictions.
- Retail store capacity is lowered to 15 per cent.
- Low-intensity group fitness activities are banned.
- A full list of restrictions is available on the province's website.
- Kenney said there will be an announcement in the near future about additional supports for businesses forced to closed.
- There are 2,285 cases at schools in the province, with 17 per cent of Alberta's schools (414 schools) on alert or with outbreaks. In-school transmission is believed to have happened in 87 per cent of those schools, or 358 schools.
- The rollout of Phase 2C of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines will begin on April 12 when 240,000 nurses, doctors, dentists and any health-care workers in patient care facilities or providing direct patient care in the community can sign up to receive a shot.
- Health-care workers will need to provide proof of eligibility, like personal ID that shows their birthdate, and proof of employment, at their appointments.
- Other groups in 2C, like residents and support staff at congregate living facilities at risk for large otubreaks like correctional facilities, homeless shelters, meat-packing plants and group homes, and caregivers of Albertans at risk of severe outcomes, are expected to begin in the following weeks.
- Phase 2B of the vaccine rollout expanded Wednesday at 8 a.m., those with eligible health conditions born earlier than 2005 are now eligible to book their vaccine.
- Alberta plans to open COVID-19 vaccination clinics at meat-packing plants across the province as early as April 20 or sooner, starting with a pilot project at the Cargill operation near High River
- Some Alberta pharmacists are frustrated by the lack of communication from the province about recent changes to the COVID-19 vaccine rollout they say caught them off guard.
- The government warns that until most Albertans are protected, fully vaccinated people must still follow all health measures, including participating in no indoor gatherings, keeping two metres apart, wearing a mask in public and staying home when sick.
- Hinshaw posted on social media Monday that the province is investigating a significant outbreak involving the variant of concern that was first identified in Brazil, one at a Calgary-based company's worksites in central and northern Alberta and the other at a Calgary workplace.
The latest on the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines:
- As of Thursday, there have been 3,804,181 tests completed in Alberta and 779,817 vaccine doses delivered.
- Distribution of COVID-19 vaccines continues to ramp up. The province has administered 818,689 doses, an increase of 38,872 from the day before. There are now 154,017 Albertans who have received two doses of vaccine.
- Kenney said two-thirds of Albertans will be immunized by the end of June, seemingly contradicting the province's goal to have a first dose offered to all adults by the end of June. Alberta Health clarified that the premier's comment indicated that not all Albertans will choose to be vaccinated, and that it takes a few weeks after the first dose to begin developing immunity.
- Alberta is now in Phase 2B of the vaccination rollout, opening up more appointments for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines in a staggered rollout.
- Who's eligible in Group 2B:
- Albertans born 2005 to 1957 (16 to 64) with eligible high-risk underlying health conditions like chronic conditions affecting certain organs and those suffering from cancer. For the full list of health conditions see here. However, not everyone can book right away: see below.
- How to book if you're in Group 2B:
- Bookings will open by birth year. Additional years added as more vaccines arrive.
- Starting March 30: Born 1957-63 can book through participating pharmacies in Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer (more pharmacies will be added in coming weeks).
- Starting April 5: Born 1957-59 can book through AHS (online or 811).
- Starting April 6: Born in or before 1973 can book through AHS (online or 811).
- Starting April 7 at 8 a.m.: Born in 2005 or before can book through AHS (online or 811).
- Who's eligible in Group 2B:
- Those in Group 2A, which started on March 15, are still eligible. Group 2A includes:
- Albertans born 1947 to 1956 (turning 65 to 74), no matter where they live. They can book through participating pharmacies or AHS (online or 811).
- First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) people born 1971 or earlier (turning 50+), no matter where they live.
- On-reserve or on-settlement: Book through local clinics.
- Off-reserve or off-settlement: Book through participating pharmacies or AHS (online or 811).
- Staff and residents of licensed seniors supportive living facilities not included in Phase 1. Do not book, as AHS will contact facilities directly.
- Alberta's vaccination rollout began in December, with a focus on acute care sites with the highest COVID-19 capacity concerns in Edmonton and Calgary. All residents in long-term care and designated supportive living had received their second shot of the vaccine by late February.
- You can also still book your shots at participating pharmacies and AHS if you're in Group 1B, which began on Feb. 24 to all Albertans born in 1946 or earlier (turning 75 and older this year).
- Alberta Health confirmed last Thursday that about 74 per cent of Albertans aged 75 and older had received at least one shot of their vaccinations.
- If you're in that group and haven't booked your shot, they're still available at participating pharmacies and AHS.
The latest on more dangerous variants:
- Alberta reported 942 new cases involving variants of concern on Sunday, a record high. Variants now represent more than 50.5 per cent of active cases.
- The total number of active variant cases is 7,217. To date, there have been a total of 10,770 variant cases.
- 3,517 people have recovered and 36 people have died.
- Screening in Alberta has now confirmed a total to date of 10,641 cases linked to variant B117, first detected in the United Kingdom. Another 27 cases have been linked to variant B1351, first detected in South Africa, and 102 cases have been linked to variant P1, which is now ravaging Brazil.
- A briefing being prepared for the Ontario government suggests the variants substantially increase the risk of serious illness and death when compared to earlier dominant strains of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
The latest on AstraZeneca-Oxford/Covishield vaccine:
- Phase 2 of the AstraZeneca-Oxford rollout began April 6.
- Albertans born from 1957 to 1966 who do not have chronic underlying health conditions can now make an appointment to receive the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine at participating pharmacies across the province.
- Eligible Albertans in this phase can choose to wait for the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine to become available to their age group when Phase 2D opens in May, according to the government.
- On March 10, Alberta began to offer the AstraZeneca-Oxford/Covishield vaccine as an option for adults who do not have a severe chronic illness in a staggered rollout to Albertans born 1957 to 1971, and First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) persons born 1972 to 1976.
- Alberta previously paused the use of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine for those under age 55 in order to gather more data about a potential increased risk for blood clots.
- About 900 people under age 55 had received the AstraZeneca shot in Alberta, Hinshaw said, but they aren't considered to be at an increased risk for blood clots.
- She said there had been no incidents in Alberta or in Canada, but recommended that anyone who received it monitor their health — and call their health-care provider if they experience seizures, or an arm or leg that goes pale, cold or turns colour.
See which regions are being hit hardest
Here is the detailed regional breakdown of active cases as reported Sunday by the province:
- Calgary zone: 6,600, up from 6,361 reported on Saturday (56,030 recovered).
- Edmonton zone: 3,524, up from 3,320 (55,599 recovered).
- North zone: 1,885, up from 1,815 (13,666 recovered).
- South zone: 942, down from 955 (7,865 recovered).
- Central zone: 1,222, up from 1,124 (11,315 recovered).
- Unknown: 120, up from 112 (121 recovered).
You can see active cases by local health area on the following interactive map. Scroll, zoom and click on the map for more information:
Find out which neighbourhoods or communities have the most cases, how hard people of different ages have been hit, the ages of people in hospital, how Alberta compares to other provinces and more in: Here are the latest COVID-19 statistics for Alberta — and what they mean
Here are the latest Alberta COVID-19 stories:
How Alberta compares to other provinces and territories
- For the latest on what's happening in the rest of Canada and around the world, see here.