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Everything you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Thursday, April 15

Alberta reported 1,646 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, the highest daily total since Dec. 13. Variant cases continue to surge and now account for 53.5 per cent of total active cases.

Alberta reported 1,646 new cases on Thursday, the highest daily total since Dec. 13.

Dawn Middleton, 63, receives the AstraZeneca/Covishield vaccine at an AHS clinic on April 14. (AHS)

The latest COVID-19 numbers and restrictions:

  • Alberta reported 1,646 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, the highest daily total since Dec. 13.
  • Alberta's active cases total now sits at 16,223 — more than Quebec's tally of 14,018 but less than Ontario's total of 38,341. Quebec has roughly double Alberta's population, while Ontario has more than three times the people.
  • Variant cases continue to surge and are now the dominant strains of the virus in Alberta, accounting for 53.5 per cent of total active cases.
  • Grades 7 to 12 students at Calgary public and Catholic schools will shift to online learning on Monday, due to a large increase in COVID-19 cases among students in that age group. 
  • Education leaders in Edmonton are questioning whether they should do the same, officials said Thursday.
  • As of Thursday, there were alerts or outbreaks at 478 schools, which represents 20 per cent of all schools in Alberta, with 2,772 cases in total.
  • To coincide with school closures in Calgary, effective April 19, all extracurricular youth sport, recreational and performance activities in the city must either take place outdoors or be paused for two weeks. The pause applies to all Calgary youth in Grades 7–12, including home-schooled students.
  • Rockyview General Hospital in Calgary continues to battle another COVID-19 outbreak, with four cases among health-care workers, three of which are cases of the B117 variant of concern. Calgary hospitals had previously been free from COVID-19 outbreaks for nearly a month, with the last outbreak at Peter Lougheed Centre declared over on Feb. 18.

(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.)

  • There are 416 people in hospital, 86 of whom are in intensive care, and five more people have died for a total of 2,034 deaths in the province.
  • The provincial positivity rate is 9.5 per cent, and the R-value is 1.12, meaning that, on average, each person with COVID-19 will infect more than one other person.
  • Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, said if case and hospitalization growth does not slow soon, further public health measures may be required. 
  • But by early June, Albertans can expect that restrictions will have gradually been reduced, says Doug Schweitzer, minister of jobs, economy and innovation. He and other officials say they are optimistic that outdoor festivals and events such as the Calgary Stampede will go ahead this summer.

The latest on vaccines:

  • Alberta crossed the threshold Wednesday for one million vaccine doses given. As of Thursday, the total was 1,032,911 vaccine doses delivered and 202,057 people who have been fully immunized with two doses of vaccine.
  • Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said Monday the province is on track to give 300,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine a week.
    Phase 2C of the rollout of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines began on Monday, expanding to include 240,000 nurses, doctors, dentists and any health-care workers in patient care facilities or providing direct patient care in the community.
  • Other groups in 2C, like residents and support staff at congregate living facilities at risk for large outbreaks 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. 

Albertans need to follow health guidance while waiting for vaccinations

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2 months ago
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Dr. Deena Hinshaw explains the efficacy of the different vaccines approved in Canada and why Albertans can't let their guard down against the virus until mass vaccinations are complete. 2:43
  • Phase 2 of the AstraZeneca-Oxford rollout began April 6, to Albertans born from 1957 to 1966 who do not have chronic underlying health conditions. They can also choose to wait for the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine to become available to their age group when Phase 2D opens in May.
    Hinshaw and other health officials have urged all Albertans to reach out for a vaccine appointment as soon as they are eligible, regardless of the type.
  • Starting April 17, AHS will accept walk-ins for the AstraZeneca vaccine at the existing rapid flow clinic at the Edmonton EXPO Centre and at the Southport clinic in Calgary.

The latest on more dangerous variants:

  • Alberta reported 1,020 new cases involving variants of concern on Thursday.
  • There are more than 8,682 active variant cases, more than 53.5 per cent of active cases.
  • 5,222 people have recovered and 48 people have died from variant infections.
  • As of Thursday, Alberta had had 13,770 cases linked to variant B117, first detected in the United Kingdom. Another 29 cases have been linked to variant B1351, first detected in South Africa, and 153 cases have been linked to variant P1, which is now spreading widely in Brazil.

The latest on restrictions and reopenings:

  • Amid the surging COVID-19 and variant cases, last week the Alberta government reimposed Step 1 restrictions, including closing restaurants and bars to in-person dining, lowering retail store capacity to 15 per cent and banning low-intensity group fitness activities.
  • When it comes to easing public health restrictions due to COVID-19, Kenney said Monday that when:
    • 50 per cent of Albertans are vaccinated, some restrictions would be eased (which he predicted would be around the end of May).
    • 64 per cent are vaccinated, further loosening of restrictions (with masking and distancing still encouraged).
    • 72 per cent of people are vaccinated, Alberta would be in full recovery with no distancing or masks.

See which regions are being hit hardest:

Here is the detailed regional breakdown of active cases as reported Thursday by the province:

  • Calgary zone: 7,329, up from 7,166 reported on Wednesday (57,615 recovered).
  • Edmonton zone: 4,201, up from 3,960 (56,365 recovered).
  • North zone: 2,174, up from 2,067 (14,189 recovered).
  • South zone: 930, up from 915 (8,134 recovered).
  • Central zone: 1,515, up from 1,402 (11,592 recovered).
  • Unknown: 74, up from 59 (25 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.

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