Everything you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Monday, April 19
Alberta reports 1,391 new COVID-19 cases as province expands AstraZeneca eligibility
The latest on vaccines:
- Alberta is lowering the minimum age to receive the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine from age 55 to age 40 and up starting Tuesday, Premier Jason Kenney announced via Twitter Sunday night.
- The walk-in COVID-19 immunization site located in the Southport Building S.W. will move to the Telus Convention Centre, beginning Tuesday. AHS says the centre has more capacity for the number of people expected to access Astra Zeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine now that the age requirements have expanded.
- The change means 575,425 more Albertans will be eligible to be vaccinated.
- Of the 270,800 doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine received by the province, 100,315 had been administered as of Sunday, according to Alberta Health.
- On Thursday, Alberta health officials once again urged eligible Albertans to get a vaccine as soon as possible, regardless of type — as mass AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccination clinics immunize thousands fewer people a day than they could.
- Mass clinic at the Edmonton Expo Centre can administer 7,000 AstraZeneca shots per day, but did 280 on Wednesday, while the mass clinic at the Calgary Telus Convention Centre has also faced low appointment numbers.
- Alberta officials say part of the issue is hesitancy brought on by reports of extremely rare blood clots occurring in people who have received AstraZeneca, also known as Covishield.
- The risk of a blood clot is exponentially higher for people who become infected with COVID-19 than for those who receive AstraZeneca, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, has repeatedly stressed.
- About one in four people hospitalized with COVID-19 get blood clots, she said, while Canada has seen just two cases of blood clots associated with the 700,000 AstraZeneca doses given out.
- It is far more likely to experience blood clots from smoking, falls/injuries and other common everyday occurrences, Alberta Health Services said.
- Conversely, AstraZeneca's first dose reduces infection by 60 to 70 per cent and, importantly, hospitalization and risk of death is reduced by 80 per cent.
- As of April 17, AHS has been allowing walk-ins for eligible recipients for the AstraZeneca vaccine at the existing rapid flow clinic at the Edmonton EXPO Centre and at the Southport clinic in Calgary.
- Phase 2C of the rollout of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines began on April 12, 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 — such as 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.
- Only 17,556 vaccine doses were administered Sunday, the lowest number in two weeks, bringing the total delivery of vaccine doses to 1,166,125, with 233,687 Albertans now fully vaccinated.
The latest COVID-19 numbers and restrictions:
- Alberta reported 1,391 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, as the province's third wave approaches the height of its second wave in December.
- Alberta's total active cases now sit at 18,424, up from 17,935 on Sunday.
- About 44 per cent of the active cases were in Calgary, while slightly more than a quarter were in Edmonton.
- To date, more than 150,000 Albertans have recovered from COVID-19.
- The more dangerous and highly transmissible variant cases continue to surge and are now the dominant strains of the virus in Alberta, accounting for 56.8 per cent of total active cases.
(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 were 460 people in hospital, 104 of whom are in intensive care. Three more people have died, for a total of 2,043 deaths.
- The provincial positivity rate is 11 per cent, and the R-value is 1.09, meaning that, on average, each person with COVID-19 will infect more than one other person.
- Calgary public and Catholic schools shifted all Grade 7 to 12 students to online learning Monday due to an increase in COVID-19 cases among students in that age group.
- Also effective April 19, all extracurricular youth sport, recreational and performance activities in Calgary must either take place outdoors or be paused for two weeks. The pause applies to all Calgary youth in Grades 7 to 12, including home-schooled students.
- As of April 15, the latest update, there were alerts or outbreaks at 478 schools, which represents 20 per cent of all schools in Alberta, with 2,772 cases in total.
The latest on more dangerous variants:
- There were 1,160 new cases involving variants of concern on Monday.
- There were 10,456 active variant cases, which comprise 56.8 per cent of all active cases.
- 7,276 people have recovered and 55 people have died from variant infections.
- As of April 18, Alberta had 17,587 cases linked to variant B117, first detected in the United Kingdom. Another 31 cases have been linked to variant B1351, first detected in South Africa, and 169 cases have been linked to variant P1, which is now spreading in Brazil.
The latest on restrictions and reopenings:
- Amid the surging COVID-19 and variant cases, on April 6 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.
- Hinshaw warned this week that if case and hospitalization growth does not slow soon, further public health measures may be required.
- However, government officials say they are optimistic that outdoor festivals and events such as the Calgary Stampede will go ahead this summer.
See which regions are being hit hardest:
Here is the detailed regional breakdown of active cases as reported Monday by the province:
- Calgary zone: 8,025, up from 7,879 reported on Sunday (59,491 recovered).
- Edmonton zone: 4,887, up from 4,788 (57,223 recovered).
- North zone: 2,575, up from 2,441 (14,706 recovered).
- South zone: 938 up from 905 (8,388 recovered).
- Central zone: 1,930, up from 1,849 (14,706 recovered).
- Unknown: 69, down from 73 (26 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.