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

Alberta reported 53 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday as the province-wide R-value — the rate at which the virus spreads from one person to the next — is once again on the rise.

Alberta reported 53 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday

Just over 74 per cent of eligible Albertans have had at least one vaccine dose, while 56.4 per cent have received two doses, the province says. (Alberta Health Services)

The latest COVID-19 numbers

  • Alberta reported 53 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday.
  • There has been one more death. A total of 2,312 Albertans have died. 
  • The rate at which COVID-19 cases spread from one person to the next is once again rising in Alberta. Over the last two weeks, Alberta's province-wide R-value was 0.84, with a confidence interval of 0.74 to 0.94. It was even higher in Edmonton, at 0.97 with a confidence interval pushing the city's R-value potentially over one. 
  • Public health officials are reported the first two cases of the C.37 coronavirus variant in Alberta — also known as the lambda variant. Both were travel-related.
  • There are 578 active COVID cases and the test positivity rate is 0.85 per cent.
  • The province's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, is no longer delivering regularly scheduled briefings. She says cases and vaccination numbers will no longer be reported on weekends, and reproduction values (R-values) will shift to two-week intervals.
  • A growing proportion of cases have no known source, officials say, a trend that was expected now that Alberta has lifted virtually all restrictions and people have so many more contacts. Contact tracers have not been able to identify a source of transmission for 39 per cent of active cases.
  • There are 107 people with COVID in hospitals in Alberta. Of those, 31 are in intensive care units.
  • 229,745 Albertans are considered to have recovered from COVID-19.
  • The medical director of the Calgary Stampede, Dr. Jia Hu, said Monday that, of the weekend's 22,000 attendees, approximately 70 per cent provided proof they had received at least one COVID-19 vaccination at least two weeks prior. Of the 30 per cent who didn't have proof — about 6,600 people — fewer than five, or 0.05 per cent, tested positive for COVID-19. 

The latest on restrictions and reopenings:

  • The province announced on Tuesday (July 13) that remaining restrictions in effect for continuing care facilities would be lifted in a two-stage process beginning as soon as operators were able to make any necessary changes.
  • The first phase will end remaining visitor restrictions, limits to dining and recreation activities, and additional screening for residents who go off-site. Outbreak protocols, single-site staffing and other measures will remain in place until further notice. There are currently only six active cases in continuing care facilities in Alberta, the province says.
  • Alberta entered Stage 3 of its three-stage reopening plan on July 1. That means:   
    • All restrictions are lifted, including the ban on indoor social gatherings.
    • The general indoor provincial mask mandate was lifted, but masking might still be required in limited settings or if certain communities continue it under local bylaws.
  • Calgary mayoral candidate Kevin J. Johnston — who is a leader in the COVID-19 denial movement and was recently described by a judge as "dangerous and out-of-control" — has pleaded guilty to both of his criminal charges on what was supposed to be the first day of his trial.
  • Calgary city council voted to rescind its mandatory mask mandate on July 5. 
  • Edmonton dropped its mandatory mask bylaw on July 1.
  • Banff ended outdoor masking on June 30 and indoor masking on July 1.
  • Fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents are now able to skip the 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Canada, but it remains unclear when the border restrictions will lift for other travellers.
  • Canadians and permanent residents who are fully vaccinated will need to show documents proving they received doses of vaccines approved in Canada at least 14 days prior to entering the country.
  • Officials said travellers must electronically submit COVID-19-related information to the government's ArriveCAN app before arriving, meet the pre- and on-arrival test requirements, be asymptomatic and have a suitable quarantine plan.

(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.)

The latest on vaccines:

  • AHS is offering no-appointment, first and second dose COVID-19 immunization clinics with Pfizer vaccine at the Calgary Telus Convention Centre and the Genesis Centre, from Wednesday, July 21 through Monday, July 26.
  • Youth born in 2004 to 2009 are eligible to receive their first dose of Pfizer vaccine, and second dose Pfizer vaccine (second dose at least 28 days after first dose) on a drop in basis at these clinics.
  • 48.6 per cent of all Albertans have been fully vaccinated with two doses, and 74.4 per cent of those 12 and up have been vaccinated with one dose.
  • Alberta has administered 4,947,062 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, including Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca-Oxford.
  • Anyone who received their first mRNA (Pfizer or Moderna) dose in May or earlier can book their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Also, anyone who received a first mRNA dose in June can also now book their second dose once four weeks have passed since their first shot.
  • Alberta is offering $3 million in lottery winnings to encourage more people to get a COVID-19 vaccine. All Albertans aged 18 and over who have had at least one dose are eligible to be entered in the draw. To register, eligible Albertans must fill out their information at The first winner was Tracey McIvor, who lives in Langdon, 30 kilometres east of Calgary.
  • Beyond the cash prizes, the government has announced additional rewards, including travel packages. On Wednesday, the government added outdoor prizes, including lifetime hunting licences and more. 

You can see active cases by local health area on the following interactive map. Scroll, zoom and click on the map for more information:

    See which regions are being hit hardest:

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

    • Calgary zone: 291.
    • Edmonton zone: 118.
    • Central zone: 44.
    • South zone: 23.
    • North zone: 100.
    • Unknown: 2.

    Here are the latest Alberta COVID-19 stories:

    With files from The Canadian Press