Alberta reported 1,412 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, a significant increase from the previous day’s count of 1,081. This marks the eighth day in a row that over 1,000 new cases have been found.
There are now 15,569 active COVID-19 infections in the province.
Of the new cases, 778 were variants of concern, representing over half of the recently discovered infections. Variants currently make up over 52% of all active cases in Alberta.
- See also:
There are now 420 people in hospital due to the virus, an increase of 18 since Tuesday afternoon. This includes 92 individuals in intensive care.
Alberta’s COVID-19 death toll is now at 2,029, as eight new deaths relating to the virus were reported in the past 24 hours.
Amidst rising case counts, particularly of variants of concern, the province has announced a move back to at-home learning for Grade 7 to 12 students.
“While everyone’s preference is to learn in school, some school boards are dealing with operational pressures due to rising COVID-19 cases in the community,” said Education Minister Adriana LaGrange in a Wednesday afternoon media release.
“The safety of students and staff is my top priority,” she continued. “Which is why I am responding to the boards’ requests and respecting their autonomy. By having a clear process in place, we are giving them flexibility to move to at-home learning when necessary.”
Beginning Monday, April 19, students in Grades 7 to 12 in the Calgary Board of Education and the Calgary Catholic School Districts will shift to at-home learning for two weeks. This includes schools in Cochrane and Airdrie.
Decisions to approve a school board’s request to shift to at-home learning is based on four criteria. This criteria includes a chronic substitute teacher shortage, a significant number of students and staff in quarantine or isolation, substantial COVID-19 cases in the community, and recent requests from the board for short-term shifts for a number of their schools.
“We are seeing a sharp rise in cases among school-aged Albertans, as well as those in other age groups,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health. “While this is an operational decision, I support it and ask that parents and students continue making safe choices to reduce the spread of COVID-19.”
“Social activities outside of school can easily spread the virus, so please continue following all the health measures in place,” Alberta’s top doctor added.