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Everything you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Wednesday, June 23

Case numbers of COVID-19 continue to fall in Alberta, as the province reported 92 new infections on Wednesday, with a positivity rate of 1.6 per cent.

Alberta continues COVID mask rules for public transport after most restrictions lift

As of Wednesday, 26.9 per cent of Albertans have been fully vaccinated, and 71 per cent of those ages 12 and older have been vaccinated with one dose. (AHS)

The latest on restrictions and reopenings:

  • Alberta's general COVID-19 mask rules won't be completely gone by July 1st as the province moves to Stage 3 of its reopening plan. Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health, says some rules will remain in place after the mask mandate in indoor public places lifts on Canada Day.
  • She says masks will continue to be required in taxis, on public transit and on ride shares, as well as in continuing care and acute care settings.
  • As for municipal mandates, Calgary will have its mask mandate in place until at least July 5, and Edmonton will make a final decision on its policy on June 25.
  • Many of Alberta's COVID-19 public health restrictions were lifted June 10 as the province entered Stage 2 of a three-stage plan.
  • Stage 2 required 60 per cent of those 12 and older to have had at least one vaccine shot and fewer than 500 infected patients in hospitals. 
  • Entertainment venues, including movie theatres, casinos and museums, are being allowed to reopen at one-third capacity.
  • Restaurants can seat diners inside rather than just on patios, and private social gatherings outdoors can have up to 20 people.
  • There are no longer any restrictions on youth and adult sports.
  • Up to 150 people are being allowed at public outdoor events, and grandstands for sports and other entertainment can open at one-third capacity.
  • Masking and distancing requirements are still in place at this time.
  • A full list of current restrictions is available on the province's website.
  • Albertans can track the province's immunization progress on alberta.ca.
  • Fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents will be able to enter Canada without undergoing quarantine starting the night of July 5, the federal government announced on June 21. However, Canadians and permanent residents who are fully vaccinated won't be able to simply walk through customs.Those entering 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 COVID-19 numbers:

  • Alberta reported 92 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, out of 6,335 tests over the past 24 hours. 
  • Almost all COVID-19 public health restrictions will be lifted in Alberta on Canada Day as the province prepares to enter the final stage of its COVID-19 reopening plan. 
  • Stage 3 of Alberta's "Open for Summer" plan will kick in on July 1, Premier Jason Kenney announced in a news conference on June 18.
  • The province is reporting its lowest active case count of COVID-19 since October — there are 1,676 active infections in the province, down from more than 20,000 a month earlier, when Alberta imposed tougher public health restrictions. 
  • There were 199 people in hospital in Alberta, one less than the previous day. Of those in hospital, 56 were in intensive care units.
  • Alberta's positivity rate is 1.6 per cent.
  • Alberta reported two new deaths on Wednesday. There have now been 2,292 COVID deaths, while 227,600 Albertans are considered to have recovered from COVID-19.
  • The latest R-value was 0.75, meaning the virus is spreading to less than one person for each confirmed case. That number has slightly decreased from the previous week.
  • Two units at the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary are dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks, one of which involves the more rapidly spreading delta variant, or B.1.617.2.  There had been a third outbreak, also of the delta strain, but it has ended, the province says.
  • Three deaths at the Foothills hospital have been linked to the delta variant, Alberta Health Services says.
  • The latest death at Foothills involved a man in his 60s who was not immunized and had significant comorbidities, according to Alberta Health Services.
  • A total of 22 people linked to outbreaks on two units at Foothills have tested positive for the variant as of June 18. An earlier tally of 23 cases was revised to 22 because one case had been incorrectly identified, the province says.
  • There have been no new confirmed cases since last week.

The latest on vaccines:

  • As of Wednesday, 26.9 per cent of Albertans have been fully vaccinated, and 71 per cent of those ages 12 and older have been vaccinated with one dose.
  • Alberta has now administered 3,903,238 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, the province announced on Friday. 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. Three $1-million prizes will be available for Albertans aged 18 and over who have had at least one dose. To register, eligible Albertans must fill out their information at alberta.ca/lottery.
  • The province has also added travel prizes and tickets to the Calgary Stampede to the lottery.
  • Albertans who received their first doses of COVID-19 vaccine as late as April can start booking their second shots immediately, Premier Jason Kenney announced on June 10.
  • The province's current inventory includes more than 453,000 doses of Pfizer and Moderna, the two approved mRNA vaccines, Alberta Health spokesperson Tom McMillan said Monday in an emailed statement.
  • The province expects to receive fewer Pfizer doses in the coming weeks than it had anticipated. But an increase in Moderna shipments means Alberta will see an overall increase in supply of mRNA vaccines in July, he said. The two vaccines are considered interchangeable and those who received a Pfizer dose for their first shot can get a Moderna dose for their second.
  • The province allows those who received the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for their first dose to get either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna for the second, or they can get another AstraZeneca vaccine shot.

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 Wednesday.

  • Calgary zone: 821.
  • Edmonton zone: 272.
  • Central zone: 175.
  • South zone: 76.
  • North zone: 331.
  • Unknown: 1.

How Alberta compares to other provinces and territories:

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:

With files from The Canadian Press

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