Alberta identifies 1st Brazil COVID-19 variant cases in the province

Alberta has two confirmed cases of a COVID-19 variant first reported in Brazil. Both cases are in the Calgary zone.

The confirmed variant cases are both in Calgary

A Tropical Medicine University virology lab researcher works to develop a test that will detect the P.1 variant of the new coronavirus, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, March 4, 2021. The variant, which was first found in Manaus, Brazil, appears to be more contagious than other COVID-19 strains. (Andre Penner/The Associated Press)

For the first time, Alberta has two confirmed cases of a COVID-19 variant first found in Brazil, known as P.1.

Both cases are in the Calgary zone. According to tweets from Alberta's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the cases are isolating. 

There are 920 variant cases in Alberta, with the B117 variant — which was first detected in the United Kingdom — making up the vast majority of those.  

Alberta's supply of the Covishield/AstraZeneca vaccine continues to dwindle as thousands book their appointments. Now, people can only book for this vaccine through 811. Fewer than 5,000 doses remain. 

Eligibility is the same: First Nations, Inuit and Métis people born between 1972 and 1976 as well as Albertans born between 1957 and 1961 (both sets inclusive) can still book now. 

According to a news release from the province, there are the most appointments available in the North, Central and Southern zones.

"More than 14,000 Albertans have now received their first immunization of Covishield/AstraZeneca and we thank them for their support of the COVID-19 vaccine program," the release read, in part. 

COVID-19 by the numbers on Sunday

Alberta is reporting 388 new cases of COVID-19 Sunday, along with six new deaths. The positivity rate is sitting at 4.6 per cent. Two hundred and forty-eight people are in hospital, with 38 in intensive care. There are 4,697 known active cases in the province. 

The active case numbers per region look like this: 

  • Calgary zone: 1,738.
  • Edmonton zone: 1,154.
  • North zone: 797.
  • Central zone: 452.
  • South zone: 545.
  • Unknown: 11.


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