Everything you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Friday, Nov. 26
COVID-19 vaccination appointments begin today in Alberta for children between the ages of 5 and 11.
356 new cases of COVID-19 were announced Friday
The latest COVID-19 numbers:
- Alberta reported 356 new cases of COVID on Friday out of 8,701 tests.
- Alberta Health says there are 455 people in hospital, with 90 in intensive care.
- The province recorded more three deaths Thursday.
- A total of 3,235 Albertans have died since the pandemic began.
- There are active alerts or outbreaks in 147 schools.
- The total number of active cases in Alberta is 5,017.
- 325,951 Albertans are considered to have recovered.
- 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. 1-14 was 0.92, with a confidence interval between 0.89 and 0.96.
- The R-value for the Edmonton zone is 0.92, and in Calgary, 1.0 — the highest rate. In the rest of Alberta the rate is 0.87.
- In response to falling COVID-19 numbers across the province, live media updates now will be held only once a week on Tuesdays. Daily numbers will continue to be posted online.
The latest on vaccines:
WATCH | Premier Jason Kenney announces the vaccine rollout plan for children:
- COVID-19 vaccination appointments begin today 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. However, the vaccines will not be offered in schools.
- Children eligible for vaccines who live on a First Nations reserve will be able to access doses through nursing stations or public health clinics on the reserve.
- Health Canada previously approved Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine for children ages five to 11, heralding it as more than 90 per cent effective against COVID-19. The federal department posted online Friday morning, about a month after it received the company's submission.
- The province is now recommending an eight-week interval between mRNA vaccines, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said on Tuesday. She cited emerging evidence of higher effectiveness as the reason for the extended gap.
- The Alberta government is now advising that anyone between the ages of 12 and 29 receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine rather than Moderna, Hinshaw said Tuesday.
- She said this is because the risk of myocarditis following the Moderna vaccine is higher among those who are between the ages of 12 and 29 than it is following Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine — although this risk is still very low, Hinshaw said.
- Regardless of whether they are vaccinated, children ages five to 11 will not be subject to Alberta's restrictions exemption program, Kenney said Tuesday.
- The City of Calgary's mobile COVID-19 vaccination effort has delivered nearly 2,000 doses as of Nov 15. It runs until Dec. 1.
- 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.
- The province announced Tuesday that Alberta's vaccine record will be updated to meet the recommended Canadian standard for domestic and international travel.
- The updated record, which includes middle names and is in both official languages, will be available Wednesday at alberta.ca/CovidRecords.
- Only Albertans who intend to travel need to save or reprint the updated version of the QR code vaccine record.
- The number of eligible people who are vaccinated dropped Friday, as children between the ages of five to 11 have been added to the population of those eligible.
- 70.6 per cent of the province's total population — or 75 per cent of eligible Albertans (aged five years and older) — have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. Out of the province's total population, 75 per cent have received at least one dose, or 79.64 per cent of (aged 5 and over), according to CBC's vaccine tracker.
- That compares with 78.6 per cent of the total population Canada-wide that have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 75.4 per cent of the total population are fully vaccinated, according to the CBC's vaccine tracker. Among those eligible, 82.6 per cent have had one dose and 79.3 per cent are fully vaccinated.
- 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.
- Alberta Premier Jason Kenney's government imposed the voluntary vaccine passport system that took effect Sept. 20 to combat the disastrous fourth wave of COVID-19.
- Operators who are eligible for the program, but opt not to take part, will have to follow measures that include capacity limits and physical distancing.
- However, the government announced Thursday that starting on 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 government announced Nov. 12 that 5,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson's Janssen COVID-19 vaccine have arrived in the province.
- Albertans who are 18 and older and interested in receiving the single-dose, viral vector vaccine can book an appointment through 811.
- Because of limited supply, the Janssen vaccine will be administered only at Alberta Health Services clinics at select locations and dates across the province, the province said in a news release.
- As of Nov. 8, more Albertans are eligible for a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Residents aged 70 and older, as well as First Nations, Métis and Inuit residents 18 years and up are able to access the booster shots.
- Third doses will be available for frontline health-care workers as well. The doses need to be booked for a time that's at least six months after the second dose.
- 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.
- The City of Calgary's mandatory vaccination policy came into force on Nov. 1. It's requiring all city employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, regardless of whether they work in the office, at home or elsewhere. On Monday Nov. 15, it said 92 per cent of its staff are fully or partially vaccinated.
- The city says employees who are not fully vaccinated are required to take part in a rapid testing program and a mandatory education program about the efficacy and safety of the COVID-19 vaccines.
- 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 will 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: 1,874.
- Edmonton zone: 1,163.
- North zone: 852.
- Central zone: 716.
- South zone: 409.
- Unknown: 3.
Here are the latest Alberta COVID-19 stories:
- Misinformation in the courtroom: How cases challenging COVID-19 restrictions in Alberta have shifted
- Canadian Medical Association calls on feds to make it criminal to harass health-care workers as promised
With files from The Canadian Press