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Everything you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Thursday, July 8

Alberta reported 23 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, the lowest daily total in 13 months.

More than half of eligible Albertans have received 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccine

More than half of eligible Albertans have now received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine. (AHS)

The latest COVID-19 numbers

  • Alberta reported 23 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, the lowest daily total in 13 months.
  • Public health officials are reporting the first two cases of the C.37 coronavirus variant in Alberta — also known as the lambda variant. Both were travel-related.
  • Alberta's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said Wednesday on Twitter that provincial labs are looking for the lambda variant as part of their regular variant screening.
  • There are 697 active COVID-19 cases and the test positivity rate is 0.88 per cent.
  • 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.
  • There are 133 people with COVID in hospitals in Alberta, and of those 32 are in intensive care units.
  • Alberta reported one more death, for a total of 2,307. One previously reported death was discovered post-mortem to not have COVID-19 as a contributing cause.
  • 229,355 Albertans are considered to have recovered from COVID-19.
  • The latest R-value was 0.75, meaning the virus is spreading to fewer than one person for each confirmed case. That number has slightly decreased from the previous week.

The latest on restrictions and reopenings:

  • 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 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.
  • As of Monday, fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents are 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:

  • 44.2 per cent of all Albertans have been fully vaccinated with two doses, and 73.7 per cent of those 12 and up has been vaccinated with one dose.
  • Alberta has administered 4,727,966 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 alberta.ca/lottery. The first winner was Tracey McIvor, who lives in Langdon, 30 kilometres east of Calgary.

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: 353.
  • Edmonton zone: 124.
  • Central zone: 74.
  • South zone: 18.
  • North zone: 126.
  • Unknown: 2.

Here are the latest Alberta COVID-19 stories:

With files from The Canadian Press

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