‘Unprecedented risk of transmission’: Alberta nears record active count as it adds 1,539 COVID-19 cases

EDMONTON — Fourteen months into the COVID-19 pandemic and in the middle of a third wave, Alberta’s top doctor said the province is “still heading in the wrong direction.”

Alberta on Tuesday added another 1,539 cases of COVID-19, and with 20,721 active infections, it is closing in on the record set during the peak of the second wave.

The positivity rate of 11.3 per cent reported on Tuesday is the highest of the pandemic.

“Spread is not limited to any one area,” Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said. “There are other areas of the province that are seeing extremely high case rates as well, and we have an unprecedented risk of transmission across the province right now.

“Our numbers are still very high and it’s important to underline that cases are still growing, especially in Edmonton.”

There are 635 Albertans in hospital with COVID-19, 143 of whom are receiving intensive care.

READ MORE: COVID-19 third wave straining Alberta’s ICUs

Dr. Hinshaw reported seven deaths, bringing the pandemic total to 2,067 after 14 deaths were deemed not to be connected to the disease.

Nearly 1.5 million Albertans have received one vaccine dose, or 26 per cent.

“Getting the vaccine does not mean that the rules no longer apply,” Hinshaw said.

“Right now we just need to stop spread and lower our cases for a little while longer.”

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