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

Calgary·THE LATEST

The province recorded five new deaths on Thursday. A total of 3,209 Albertans have died since the pandemic began.

The province recorded five new deaths Thursday

Health Canada has approved Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for Canadians aged five to 11. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

The latest COVID-19 numbers: 

  • Alberta reporteed 383 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday. 
  • The province recorded five more deaths. A total of 3,209 Albertans have died since the pandemic began.
  • There are active alerts or outbreaks in 187 schools.
  • The total number of active cases in Alberta is 5,384. 
  • 322,621 Albertans are considered to have recovered.
  • As of Thursday, there are 498 people in hospital with COVID, and 94 in intensive care
  • 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:

  • Health Canada has officially 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 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. 
  • 70.4 per cent of the province’s total population — or 82.7 per cent of eligible Albertans — 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 88.2 per cent of those eligible.
  • That compares with 78.3 per cent of the total population Canada-wide that have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 75 per cent of the total population are fully vaccinated, according to the CBC’s vaccine tracker. Among those eligible, 89.5 per cent have had one dose and 85.7 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.
  • 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 only be administered at Alberta Health Services clinics in select locations 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. 
  • 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.
  • 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 Thursday:

  • Edmonton zone: 1,180.
  • Calgary zone: 1,817.
  • North zone: 1,055.
  • Central zone: 861.
  • South zone: 468.
  • Unknown: 3.

Here are the latest Alberta COVID-19 stories:

With files from The Canadian Press

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