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Everything you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Friday, Dec. 3

No new cases of the omicron variant were reported Friday. The provincial total remains at four cases.

No new cases of the omicron variant in the province were reported Friday

The Alberta government reported Friday that there were 349 new COVID cases and one more death. (NIAID Integrated Research Facility/Reuters)

The latest COVID-19 numbers: 

  • The Alberta government reported Friday that there were 349 new COVID cases.
  • Alberta Health says there are 395 people with COVID in hospital, 78 of them are in intensive care. 
  • The province recorded one new death.
  • A total of 3,258 Albertans have died of COVID since the pandemic began.
  • There are active alerts or outbreaks in 138 schools.
  • The total number of active cases in Alberta is 4,440.
  • 328,694 Albertans are considered to have recovered.
  • No new cases of the omicron variant were reported Friday. The provincial total remains at four cases.
  • Alberta is reporting an R-value below 1. The R-value is the average number of COVID-19 infections transmitted by each diagnosed case.
  • An R-value below 1.0 means transmission is no longer growing. Provincewide, the R-value for Nov. 8 to 28 was 0.88, with a confidence interval between 0.84 and 0.91.
  • The R-value for the Edmonton zone is 0.95, and in Calgary it's 0.90. In the rest of Alberta the rate is 0.80.
  • In response to falling COVID-19 numbers across the province, the government is only giving live media updates once a week and otherwise posting daily numbers online.

WATCH: Dr. Deena Hinshaw shares what experts know about the latest COVID-19 variant:

Alberta’s top doctor details what is known about omicron variant

2 months ago
Duration 1:53
Dr. Deena Hinshaw shares what experts know about the latest COVID-19 variant, which has now been confirmed in Alberta. 1:53

The latest on vaccines:

  • Alberta is expanding access to booster shots to all Albertans ages 18 and older, six months out from their second dose of the vaccine, Health Minister Jason Copping said. 
  • Albertans 60 and older are eligible for a third dose of the vaccine starting Monday, Dec. 6. Appointments will open for this age group Thursday. 
  • Bookings for additional age groups will open in line with available supply, Copping said. 
  • Copping said the province expects that bookings for all adults over the age of 18 will open by early next year. 
  • Unvaccinated travellers over the age of 12 now cannot board a plane or train in Canada as of Nov. 30, and a negative COVID-19 test will no longer serve as a substitute for most people.
  • Hinshaw said she has heard of a "concerning trend" in which parents are withdrawing their consent from all vaccines at schools because they're worried their children may receive a COVID-19 vaccine without their knowledge. 
  • "I want to be crystal clear that no child will receive any vaccine in school without their parent or guardian's consent and knowledge," Hinshaw said. 
  • Alberta's vaccine record now meets the recommended Canadian standard for domestic and international travel. It includes middle names and is in both official languages at alberta.ca/CovidRecords.
  • Kenney said Monday that Albertans can now download an updated QR federal code for air and rail travel after it was suspended following a data breach last week. The premier said an investigation into the reasons for the data breach is ongoing.

  • The percentage of eligible people who are vaccinated dropped on Nov. 26, as children between the ages of five to 11 were added to the population of those eligible in Alberta:
    • 71 per cent of the province's total population — or 76 per cent of eligible Albertans (ages five years and older) — have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
    • Out of the province's total population, 76 per cent have received at least one dose, or 81 per cent of (ages 5 and over), according to CBC's vaccine tracker. 
    • That compares with 80 per cent of the total population Canada-wide that have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 76 per cent of the total population who are fully vaccinated. Among those eligible, 84 per cent have had one dose and 80 per cent are fully vaccinated.

  • COVID-19 vaccination appointments began Nov. 26 for children between the ages of 5 and 11.
    • Appointments can be made for children at Alberta.ca/vaccine or by calling Heath Link at 811.
    • The pediatric vaccines are being delivered to 120 vaccination clinics across the province, although not in schools.
    • Children eligible for vaccines who live on a First Nations reserve can access doses through nursing stations or public health clinics on the reserve.
    • Regardless of whether they are vaccinated, children ages five to 11 will not be subject to Alberta's restrictions exemption program.

  • More  Albertans became eligible for a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Nov. 8 including:
    • Residents aged 70 and older.
    • First Nations, Métis and Inuit residents 18 years and up are able to access the booster shots.
    • Frontline health-care workers. The doses need to be booked for a time that's at least six months after the second dose. 
  • The province said Nov. 23 it is now recommending an eight-week interval between mRNA vaccines.
    • The Alberta government is now advising that anyone between the ages of 12 and 29 receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine rather than Moderna.

    Kenney's government imposed a voluntary vaccine passport system as of Sept. 20 to combat the disastrous fourth wave of COVID-19.
  • As of Nov. 15, anyone wanting to enter a business taking part in the Alberta restrictions exemption program must present proof of vaccination that includes a QR code. For those over 18, valid identification matching that record is also required.
    • Albertans can get their enhanced vaccine records with a QR code online at alberta.ca/CovidRecords.
    • The AB COVID Records Verifier app is available to download on Apple and Android devices. 
    • Exceptions include First Nations and military vaccination records.
    • People who are not fully vaccinated can still opt to provide a privately paid negative COVID-19 test from within the previous 72 hours or valid proof of a medical exemption.
    • Operators who are eligible for the program, but opt not to take part, have to follow measures that include capacity limits and physical distancing.
    • As of Monday (Nov. 29), ski hills can operate outdoor activities without implementing the program. Masking will still be required in enclosed areas.
    • Ski hill operators can implement the program for indoor areas to permit indoor dining and other activities.
    • A full list of restrictions and exemptions is available on the government's website

  • The City of Calgary's state of local emergency expires on Dec. 2. However, the vaccine passport bylaw and face covering bylaw will remain in place.
  • On  Nov. 15, Calgary city council voted unanimously in favour of extending the city's mandatory vaccination policy for staff to include citizen members appointed to boards, commissions and committees. As of Dec. 1, those who are not vaccinated will be required to continue to participate in the rapid testing program on their own time and at their own expense.
  • Alberta public sector workers will soon be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination. The policy, approved by the province's COVID-19 cabinet committee will affect 25,500 provincial employees who must all submit proof of full vaccination by Nov. 30.
  • AHS extended a deadline for employees, medical and midwifery staff, students, volunteers and contracted healthcare providers to comply with its mandatory immunization policy until Nov. 30.

The latest on surgeries, hospitals, mask bylaws and more: ​​​​​​

  • Support people who are symptomatic for, or diagnosed with, COVID-19 are no longer be able to accompany maternity patients into hospitals.
    • Alberta Health had previously allowed designated support people who were COVID-19 positive or symptomatic into hospitals with maternity patients. They rescinded the order after determining with Alberta Health Services that health-care facilities couldn't provide the additional protections required.

  • AHS has begun administering a new monoclonal antibody treatment that was recently approved by Health Canada, Hinshaw said on Nov. 9.
    • Sotrovimab is a new drug developed for treating patients with COVID-19 who have mild to moderate symptoms.
    • It is the first treatment to be offered to outpatients in Alberta.

See which regions are being hit hardest:

Here is the latest detailed regional breakdown of active cases, as reported by the province on Friday:

  • Calgary zone: 1,749
  • Edmonton zone: 1,166
  • North zone: 653
  • Central zone: 537
  • South zone: 329
  • Unknown: 6

Here are the latest Alberta COVID-19 stories:

With files from The Canadian Press

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