Everything you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Wednesday, April 28

The latest COVID-19 numbers and restrictions:

  • Alberta reported its highest ever testing positivity rate on Tuesday, with 11.39 per cent of tests coming back positive for COVID-19. The second highest was on Dec. 3, 2020, when the province recorded an 11.16 per cent positivity rate. 
  • Alberta is also now reporting its second highest total of active cases since the pandemic began, with 20,721 active cases. That number is closing in on the high of 21,138 at the height of the second COVID-19 wave in December.
  • The province is easing COVID-19 restrictions at long-term care centres starting on May 10, allowing each resident to designate up to four friends or family members as visitors. Premier Jason Kenney said hospitalizations in those facilities have decreased by 93 per cent since active cases in care homes peaked in December. 
  • Meantime, more Albertans in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s are ending up in ICU with COVID-19 than ever before, according to a breakdown of data published by Alberta Health. People admitted to ICU in recent weeks have been significantly younger than those admitted over the winter, when a devastating second wave of infection swamped hospitals with critically ill patients. 
  • Alberta reported 1,539 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday.
  • The more dangerous and highly transmissible variant cases continue to surge and are now the dominant strains of the virus in Alberta, accounting for 63.2 per cent of total active cases.
  • There are now 635 people in hospital, up from 616. There are 143 people with COVID-19 in intensive care. Seven more people have died, including a woman in her 20s in Edmonton, for a total of 2,067 deaths.
  • The provincial positivity rate is 11.39 per cent, and the R-value is 1.04.
  • 162,052 Albertans have recovered from COVID-19.
  • There are more than 700 active cases of COVID-19 tied to outbreaks at oil camps in northern Alberta. 
  • Currently, 712 schools, about 29 per cent of the total in Alberta, are on alert or have outbreaks, with 4,271 cases in total. In-school transmission is believed to have occurred at 577 schools. 
  • Due to 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 Thursday.

(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 vaccines:

  • Calgary firefighters are now able to get COVID-19 vaccine shots after the city designated them as medical first responders.
  • The province is expanding the number of people eligible due to underlying health conditions. As of April 27, those born between 2006 and 2009 with qualifying conditions can book appointments for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
  • Also starting this week, Alberta will start vaccinating about 15,000 workers at the province’s 136 meat-packing plants, using a combination of on-site and community locations, Shandro said Monday. 
  • Walk-in appointments for the AstraZeneca-Oxford shot were no longer be available to most Albertans as of April 26, Alberta Health Services said, as active COVID-19 cases surged above 20,000 in the province. 
  • Only Grande Prairie and Fort McMurray will continue to have walk-in opportunities on a first-come, first-served basis for the next few days.
  • Eligible Albertans wanting an AstraZeneca shot can book through the AHS online booking tool and through Health Link 811. Many pharmacies are also taking bookings, although some haven’t received the vaccine.

  • Phase 2C of the rollout of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines began on April 12, expanding to include 240,000 nurses, doctors, dentists and any health-care workers in patient care facilities or providing direct patient care in the community. Correctional facility staff and inmates are also eligible, as well as staff and residents at shelters.
  • Other groups in 2C — such as support staff at workplaces that are at risk for large outbreaks and front-line policing, as well as residents at group homes and caregivers of Albertans at risk of severe outcomes — are expected to begin in the following weeks. 
  • 1,468,785 vaccine doses have been administered in Alberta, including Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca-Oxford.
  • 284,870 Albertans have been fully immunized (2 doses).
  • As of Monday, 83 per cent of Albertans age 75 and up had received at least one vaccine dose, and 24 per cent of those ages 40 to 49 had received at least one dose. 
  • 25.6 per cent of the entire population has received at least one dose.

The latest on more dangerous variants:

  • Alberta announced its first COVID-19 case linked to the B1617 variant on April 22, the variant fuelling the case surge in India.
  • There were 812 new cases involving variants of concern reported on Tuesday. Variants now comprise 63.2 per cent of all active cases. 
  • There are 13,091 active variant cases, while 13,694 people have recovered and 78 people had died from variant infections.
  • Alberta had 26,036 cases linked to variant B117, first detected in the United Kingdom, 71 cases linked to variant B1351, first detected in South Africa, and 755 cases linked to variant P1, now spreading in Brazil.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw says there is currently no one source or sector that is driving the spread of COVID-19 in Alberta. 1:30

The latest on restrictions and reopenings:

  • The government of B.C. is restricting all non-essential travel into or out of all health authority regions.
  • The legal orders are meant to limit the spread of COVID-19, and will be in effect in B.C. until May 25 — the end of the May long weekend.
  • Those who contravene the legal order in B.C. — including Albertans — may be subject to a $575 fine, B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said last week.
  • On April 6, the Alberta government reimposed Step 1 restrictions, including closing restaurants and bars to in-person dining, lowering retail store capacity to 15 per cent and banning low-intensity group fitness activities.

See which regions are being hit hardest:

Alberta provided limited data on Wednesday due to a technical issue. Here is the detailed regional breakdown of active cases as reported by the province on Tuesday:

  • Calgary zone: 8,656 active cases, up from 8,491 reported on Monday (64,057 recovered).
  • Edmonton zone: 5,672, up from 5,850 (59,969 recovered).
  • North zone: 2,960, up from 2,883 (16,152 recovered).
  • South zone: 992, up from 983 (8,963 recovered).
  • Central zone: 2,367, up from 2,341 (12,891 recovered).
  • Unknown: 74, up from 62 (20 recovered).

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

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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