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Everything you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Friday, May 7

With 24,497 active cases across the province and transmission rates still high, Alberta's top doctor urging people to only leave home for essential reasons.

Alberta's measures to slow spread of COVID-19 have worked twice before, says Hinshaw

Jen Jerome had her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on April 28. (Submitted by Jen Jerome)

The latest COVID-19 numbers:

  • Alberta reported 1,980 new COVID-19 cases on Friday and four more deaths from the illness.
  • Across the province there are now 24,850 active cases, which is the highest active-case tally in Canada.
  • The positivity rate on Friday was 10.4 per cent.
  • The province has the highest active case rate in Canada and the United States, with 554 active cases per 100,000 people — more than double the case rate of Ontario, the next-highest province.
  • There are now 659 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 150 people in intensive care
  • Alberta's death toll increased by four on Friday for a total of 2,106 deaths. 
  • The latest R-value reported for the province was 1.12, significantly higher than last week's R-value of 1.04, meaning the virus is spreading to more people for each confirmed case. 
  • 178,149 Albertans have recovered from COVID-19. 
  • Currently, 808 schools, about 33 per cent of all schools in Alberta, are on alert or have outbreaks. In-school transmission is believed to have occurred in 678 schools.
  • Because of an increase in the number of Albertans in the Calgary zone requesting a COVID-19 test, it may take three to five days from the time someone makes a request to when testing occurs, AHS said last week.
  • Alberta is cutting back scheduled surgeries in its two major cities and the northern part of the province to make room for a possible influx of COVID-19 hospitalizations.

(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 restrictions:

  • The Alberta government has introduced new measures to try slow the spread of COVID-19 and has vowed to do more to stop people from breaking public health orders.
  • Justice Minister Kaycee Madu said Wednesday fines for defying public health orders will double to $2,000 and introduced what he called a new enforcement protocol to target people not complying with orders. 
  • "We will not permit our health-care system to be overwhelmed," Kenney said Wednesday, adding that could happen in a matter of weeks if case growth doesn't slow. 
  • All K-12 students in the province will move to online learning at the end of the week until May 25, after the May long weekend. The premier said 80,000 students and staff are already in self-isolation. All post-secondary classes will also move online. 
  • Workplaces with COVID-19 outbreaks now must close for 10 days, unless they are essential workplaces.
  • Restaurants must move to take-out only, meaning patios must close. 
  • Retail will be limited to 10 per cent of fire code occupancy. 
  • Outdoor social gatherings will be limited to five people, and you are recommended to limit gatherings to a maximum of two different family cohorts. 
  • Places of worship are limited to 15 people and funerals are limited to 10 people. 
  • All indoor fitness activities must close, as well as hair salons and nail salons.
  • Outdoor sports are limited to household and close contacts only. 
  • Golf courses can remain open, but golfers must only play with people from their own household, or if they live alone, with their two close contacts.
  • The fine for violations is doubling from $1,000 to $2,000
  • The new public health measures apply to all parts of Alberta except those with fewer than 50 cases per 100,000 people and fewer than 30 active cases.
  • The full list of current restrictions is available on the province's website
  • The premier said Albertans who are ignoring the public health rules "will not be tolerated."

(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.)

WATCH | Dr. Deena Hinshaw urges Albertans to heed the new restrictions:

No more mingling, urges Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta chief medical officer of health

CBC News Edmonton

2 months ago
1:40
Alberta doesn’t know if it has hit the peak of new COVID-19 cases, which is why Albertans must heed restrictions to avoid in-person contact, says Dr. Deena Hinshaw. 1:40

The latest on vaccines:

  • Alberta Health announced on May 5 that the province will begin offering COVID-19 vaccines to anyone over the age of 12 as the provincial vaccine rollout advances to Phase 3.
  • Starting May 6, every Albertan 30 or older (born in 1991 or earlier), can book an appointment through AHS or a participating pharmacy.
  • On May 10, appointment bookings will expand to include Albertans ages 12 to 29 (born in 1992 to 2009).
  • Premier Jason Kenney says Montana will provide Johnson & Johnson shots to truckers crossing the border starting on May 10. The deal is similar to earlier agreements signed between Manitoba, Saskatchewan and North Dakota and is expected to affect approximately 2,000 truckers. 
  • An Alberta woman in her 50s has died from a rare blood clot condition after receiving the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, says the province's chief medical officer of health. In a statement Tuesday, Dr. Deena Hinshaw said the woman died of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT). It's Alberta's first death linked to the vaccine.
  • Alberta Health said on April 30 that the vast majority of doses of the province's supply of AstraZeneca-Oxford have now been administered or booked. Existing bookings will be honoured.
  • 1,792,312 vaccine doses have been administered in Alberta, including Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca-Oxford.
  • 311,908 Albertans have been fully immunized (2 doses).

The latest on more dangerous variants:

  • There were 479 new cases involving variants of concern reported on Friday. On Monday, the province reported 1,900 — the highest number of new variant cases reported in a single day.
  • About 53 per cent of active cases have been identified as variants of concern, but not all cases are being screened for variants.
  • There are 13,549 active variant cases, while 23,680 people have recovered and 100 people have died from variant infections.
  • Alberta had 35,160 cases linked to variant B117, first detected in the United Kingdom; 125 cases linked to variant B1351, first detected in South Africa; four cases linked to variant B1617, first detected in India; and 2,040 cases linked to the variant P1, which was first identified in Brazil.

See which regions are being hit hardest:

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

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

  • Calgary zone: 10,859 active cases, up from 10,639 active cases reported on Thursday (70,868 recovered).
  • Edmonton zone: 5,969, down from 5,979 (64,404 recovered).
  • North zone: 3,772, up from 3,616 (18,514 recovered).
  • South zone: 1,335, up from 1,321 (9,680 recovered).
  • Central zone: 2,901, up from 2,899 (14,666 recovered).
  • Unknown: 24, down from 43 (17 recovered).

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:

How Alberta compares to other provinces and territories:

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