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Everything you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Monday, Aug. 30

Alberta reported 3,056 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend with a positivity rate of 1041 per cent, as the number of people in hospital with the virus reached 401.

Alberta reports more than 3,000 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend

The province says 69.7 per cent of eligible Albertans have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. (Rogelio V. Solis/The Associated Press)

The latest COVID-19 numbers:

  • Alberta reported 3,056 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend:
    • 1,231 new cases on Friday, out of 11,415 tests.
    • 960 new cases on Saturday, out of 9,526 tests.
    • 865 new cases on Sunday, out of 8,328 tests.
  • The province is leading the country in daily new COVID cases and active cases. 
  • There were 11,426 active cases across Alberta — an increase of 1,771 from the previous data update. Ontario, a province with about three times more people than Alberta, has 6,028 cases.
  • There were 401 people being treated in hospital, 98 of whom were in intensive care beds.
  • All but two of those in ICU beds for COVID (97.3 per cent) were unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, and 77.1 per cent of non-ICU patients were unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, said Friday on Twitter.
  • Seven more deaths were reported, bringing Alberta's total to 2,371 deaths.
  • The positivity rate was 10.41 per cent.
  • The R-value, which represents the number of people infected by each infected person, was 1.19 (with a confidence interval of 1.16-1.23) from Aug. 16-22.
  • 238,213 Albertans are considered to have recovered from COVID-19.
  • Alberta has now identified one case of K417N, known as the delta plus variant. 

See which regions are being hit hardest:

Here is the detailed regional breakdown of active cases as reported by the province on Monday.

  • Calgary zone: 3,193.
  • Edmonton zone: 3,571.
  • South zone: 1,198.
  • North zone: 2,111.
  • Central zone: 1,304.
  • Unknown: 49.

The latest on vaccines:

  • Alberta feed stores are receiving a deluge of callers asking to buy ivermectin because of misinformation that suggests the livestock dewormer can be used to treat COVID-19 in humans.
    • Different forms of ivermectin are used to treat parasites, such as intestinal worms or lice, in both animals and humans. But the livestock form of the drug should never be used on humans, and parasites are not the same as viruses. COVID-19 is caused by a virus. 
    • The largest study in favour of ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment was retracted after concerns about data fabrication, plagiarism and ethical breaches. No clinical studies have proven whether ivermectin can slow or stop the novel coronavirus from growing in human cells.

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  • The province says 66.3 per cent of all Albertans have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 59.3 per cent have had two doses. Of eligible Albertans (those ages 12 and up), about 69.7 per cent have had both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. 
  • That's considerably lower than the national average. Canada-wide, 66.5 per cent of the total population and 76 per cent of those ages 12 and older have been fully vaccinated. About 73.1 per cent of the total population, or 83.6 per cent of those ages 12 and older, have received at least one dose as of Aug. 30, according to the CBC's vaccine tracker.
  • Alberta Health says it is working to improve access to digital immunization records — something some Albertans have been struggling with in recent weeks. Most Albertans are able to access health information through the province's online MyHealth Records tool, but some encountered issues. Alberta Health said people will soon be able to use it to print a paper card showing immunizations.
  • The Alberta government says it expects to have a decision by September about whether to offer COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to people with compromised immune systems, after U.S. health officials recommended the extra protection be made available to all Americans.
  • Starting Sept. 7, temporary COVID-19 vaccine clinics will be set up in schools for students in Grades 7 to 12 and for teachers and staff. 
  • The federal government will soon require that all public servants be vaccinated — a mandate that will also be implemented by Crown corporations and other federally regulated businesses in the coming weeks.
  • Starting soon, all commercial air travellers and passengers on inter-provincial trains and large marine vessels with overnight accommodations (such as cruise ships) will have to be vaccinated, with exceptions.

The latest on hospital outbreaks:

The province says that as of Aug. 30 there are COVID-19 outbreaks at nine AHS and Covenant Health acute care facilities:

  • North Zone
    • Redwater Health Centre.
  • Edmonton Zone:
    • Grey Nuns Community Hospital.
  • South Zone:
    • Medicine Hat Regional Hospital.
    • Chinook Regional Hospital.
    • Cardston Health Centre.
    • Crowsnest Pass Health Centre. 
  • Calgary Zone:
    • Peter Lougheed Centre.
    • Foothills Medical Centre.
    • Rockyview General Hospital.

The latest on restrictions and reopenings:

  • The Alberta government said Aug. 13 that — due to surging COVID-19 cases and higher non-ICU hospitalizations than expected — it would hold off on its controversial move to lift more public health measures on Aug. 16 and would keep them in place six more weeks until Sept. 27, after controversially announcing in late July that quarantine for close contacts was no longer mandatory but recommended, contact tracers would no longer notify close contacts in most cases and asymptomatic testing was no longer recommended.
  • Hockey Calgary is implementing a mask requirement for all athletes, coaches, officials and volunteers, effective Aug. 27, until at least Sept. 27.

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  • The City of Calgary is postponing mandatory return to work for city employees until Oct. 20.
  • The Calgary Board of Education announced Thursday it was reopening registration for its online learning option because of the continued uncertainty over the COVID-19 pandemic. The school board originally closed registration for CBe-learn on April 23 and didn't plan to allow further registrations.
  • The Calgary Board of Education and the Calgary Catholic School District announced earlier in August that masks would need to be worn by K-12 students and staff at the beginning of the school year.
  • Edmonton Public Schools requires all staff and students to wear masks while indoors. At Edmonton Catholic Schools, masks are mandatory in common areas for all staff and students from Grade 4 to 12, and recommended — but not required — for all staff and students while in class. 
  • Both Edmonton school districts intend to work with Alberta Health Services to offer pop-up vaccination clinics for older students.
  • As of Aug. 30, students and staff at Calgary's Mount Royal University will be required to wear masks in all indoor spaces on campus, including classrooms, labs, hallways and meeting/study rooms.
  • MRU is working out details for a frequent rapid testing program for students who have not declared they are fully vaccinated.
  • At the University of Alberta, the University of Calgary and the University of Lethbridge, anyone not fully vaccinated will have to undergo regular rapid testing as of Sept. 1. Edmonton's MacEwan University is also planning to implement rapid testing for students who are not vaccinated.
  • The four schools are also requiring mask-wearing in public indoor areas where physical distancing is not possible.
  • At Calgary's SAIT campus, and Edmonton's NAIT campus, as well as at  Concordia University of Edmonton, masks are required for all indoor spaces effective Aug. 23. Bow Valley College will require masks indoors as of Aug. 19.

Here are the latest Alberta COVID-19 stories:

With files from The Canadian Press

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