Everything you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Wednesday, Nov. 3

Alberta reported new 487 COVID cases and 14 deaths on Wednesday.

Alberta expands eligibility for COVID-19 booster

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Jan. 7, 2021. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

The latest on COVID-19 in Alberta:

  • Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, Health Minister Jason Copping and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw gave an update on COVID-19 on Wednesday. 
  • Kenney announced Wednesday that more Albertans will now be eligible to receive a COVID-19 booster shot. 
  • Those people include all Albertans aged 70 and older, and all First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people older than 18 who are more than six months out from their last shot of COVID-19. 
  • Health-care workers who work directly with patients, who received their second COVID-19 dose within eight weeks of their first, are also eligible.
  • Those who received two doses of a viral vector vaccine, for example AstraZeneca and Janssen, are eligible for a booster shot. 
  • The four groups now eligible will be able to receive the booster dose as of Monday. 
  • Alberta had previously expanded the number of immunocompromised people who are eligible for a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The full list of eligible people can be found on the province's website.
  • Despite declines in the number of cases announced daily and the number of people in hospital since the peak of the fourth wave, Alberta ICU occupancy is still 139 per cent above non-surge capacity.
  • Copping said AHS is restoring surgery volumes as fast as possible as pressure on ICUs decreases. Surgery volumes are at approximately two-thirds of normal surgery levels and climbing. 
  • Cancer surgeries in the province have fully resumed, Copping said Wednesday. 
  • Alberta reported 487 new COVID cases and 14 deaths on Wednesday.
  • The total number of active cases in Alberta is 6,693.
  • Since the pandemic began, 3,133 Albertans have died of COVID.
  • 315,175 Albertans are considered to have recovered from COVID-19.​​​​
  • Alberta Health Services reports there are 155 patients in ICU, the majority of whom are COVID positive, as of Nov. 2.
  • Provincially, ICU capacity (including additional surge beds) is at 80 per cent. Without the additional surge spaces, ICU capacity would be at 143 per cent, AHS says. 
  • 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 means transmission is no longer growing. Provincewide, the R-value for Oct. 25-31 was 0.87, with a confidence interval between 0.84 and 0.90.
  • With pressure easing slightly on ICUs, AHS is reducing available surge beds to redeploy staff back to caring for non-COVID patients who need surgeries and procedures completed, an AHS spokesperson said Monday. 
  • The Alberta government has released an app to scan and verify QR code vaccine records. The AB COVID Records Verifier app is available to download on Apple and Android devices. 
  • Albertans can get their enhanced vaccine records with a QR code online at

The latest on Alberta's COVID-19 response: ​​​​​​

  • Calgary's city council has voted to change the threshold for repealing Calgary's mask bylaw. In September, council voted to repeal the bylaw either effective Dec. 31 or when Calgary's COVID case counts dropped below 100 per 100,000 population for 10 consecutive days. Instead, council voted Monday to change the threshold to 28 days. 
  • Nine Canadian Armed Forces nurses who've been helping care for COVID-19 patients at an Edmonton hospital are on their way back to their home units.
  • As of Oct. 25, Albertans aged 12 and older need to provide proof of full vaccination — two COVID-19 vaccine doses — to access restaurants, movies, sporting events and other businesses provincewide operating under the province's Restrictions Exemption Program.
  • 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.
  • Kenney's government imposed the voluntary vaccine passport system that took effect Sept. 20 to combat the 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.
  • A full list of restrictions and exemptions is available on the government's website
  • On Sept. 22, Calgary city council approved a bylaw that brings in consistent application of the province's vaccine passport program for many types of businesses in the city. 
  • 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 Tuesday, it said 85 per cent of its staff are fully vaccinated. That's nearly 11,000 employees.
  • The city says employees who are not fully vaccinated by Nov. 1 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.
  • Among Calgary Fire Department employees, 80 per cent are fully vaccinated and two per cent partially vaccinated.
  • The Calgary Police Service reports 85 per cent of staff are fully vaccinated and three per cent are partially vaccinated.
  • AHS is extending the deadline for employees, medical and midwifery staff, students, volunteers and contracted healthcare providers to comply with its mandatory immunization policy until Nov. 30. 
  • A Calgary-based real estate company is requiring COVID-19 vaccination for all new residents as well as its employees. Strategic Group, which rents out more than 1,500 suites in Calgary and Edmonton, announced the new policy on Thursday.
  • Hinshaw announced new measures for continuing care facilities that started Oct. 25. All visitors will be required to wear a mask in all indoor areas of the building, including in residents' rooms. All residents must also quarantine after returning from a hospital stay of 24 hours or more until they get a negative COVID-19 test result.
  • The City of Calgary is opening applications for a new grant program for local business operators, owners and entities that are impacted by the Provincial Restrictions Exemption Program. The Calgary Business Support Grant will give $2,000 per physical permanent premise.
  • The province announced new measures to protect children and youth from COVID-19 on Oct. 5. Contact tracing in schools will be phased in, outbreaks will be declared in schools, and rapid-test kits will be made available for parents to test younger children.
  • Politicians and staff at the Alberta Legislature will all be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by the time the sitting resumes on Oct. 25, government House leader Jason Nixon said Tuesday.
  • 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.

The latest on vaccines:

  • 68.5 per cent of the province's total population have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, or 80.6 per cent of eligible Albertans.
  • Out of the province's total population, 74.2 per cent have received at least one dose, or 87.2 per cent of those eligible.
  • Canada-wide, 77.7 per cent of the total population have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 73.9 per cent of the total population are fully vaccinated, according to the CBC's vaccine tracker. Among those eligible, 88.8 per cent have had one dose and 84.4 per cent are fully vaccinated.

See which regions are being hit hardest:

Here is the latest detailed regional breakdown of active cases, as reported by the province on Wednesday:

  • Edmonton zone: 1,529.
  • Calgary zone: 1,815.
  • North zone: 1,452.
  • Central zone: 1,186.
  • South zone: 710.
  • Unknown: 1.

Here are the latest Alberta COVID-19 stories:

With files from The Canadian Press