Alberta reports 1,345 new COVID-19 cases as vaccine rollout "picks up pace"

Apr 20 2021, 4:03 pm

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, reported 1,345 new cases of COVID-19 during a Tuesday afternoon press conference with Premier Jason Kenney.

This number is slightly lower than Monday’s count of 1,391 new infections. Including today’s cases, there are now 18,481 active COVID-19 cases in Alberta.

Of the new cases reported, 816 were variants of concern. There are currently 10,520 active variant infections in the province, making up 57% of all active infections.

There are 476 Albertans in hospital due to the virus, an increase of 16 since Monday. This includes 105 individuals in intensive care.

Five additional deaths related to COVID-19 were identified in the past 24 hours, bringing the province’s death toll to 2,048.

Also during the press conference, Premier Kenney provided an update about the province’s vaccine rollout and how it has “picked up the pace” in the last few days.

As of April 19, 1,196,428 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Alberta.

Kenney thanked the Albertans aged 40 and over who have already “signed up and showed up” to the receive the AstraZeneca vaccine since eligibility expanded to include the younger age group on Tuesday morning.

More than 107,000 doses of AstraZeneca have been administered in Alberta, with approximately 70,000 appointments booked for this vaccine over the next 10 days. This includes 27,000 bookings that were made on Tuesday alone.

“I’m encouraged to see much more activity at the walk-in sites and higher number of appointment bookings,” Kenney said, before telling Albertans that he has scheduled his own appointment to receive AstraZeneca on Thursday morning.

The COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues to expand across the province, as walk-in clinics in Lethbridge, Camrose, Red Deer, Grande Prairie, and Fort McMurray opened on Tuesday.

On Thursday, April 22, additional walk-in clinics will open in Brooks and Medicine Hat.

Healthcare workers who qualify under Phase 2C of the rollout and anyone eligible in Phase 2B can continue to schedule their immunization appointment through Alberta Health Services or a participating pharmacy.

Staff and residents in correctional facilities and shelters are also now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Kenney assured Albertans that, as long as supply allows, the province is still on track to offer a first dose to all adults by June.

During the press conference, Dr. Hinshaw announced that she, along with Minister of Health Tyler Shandro, received her first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine this morning.

“The benefits of these vaccines far outweigh any of the rare risks that may be associated,” Dr. Hinshaw tweeted. “As soon as you are offered vaccine, whichever it may be, please take it to protect your health and the health of those around you.”

Elle McLeanElle McLean

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