COVID-19 case counts continue to rise in Alberta as the province nears 21,000 active infections.
Alberta reported 1,839 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, 1,058 of which were variants of concern.
There are now 13,193 active variant cases in the province, making up 63% of our 20,938 total active COVID-19 infections.
Hospitalizations have risen to 643, up by eight people since Tuesday. This includes 145 in intensive care.
Six new deaths related to the virus were reported in the past 24 hours, bringing the province’s death toll to 2,073.
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During a Tuesday press conference, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw informed Albertans that the province will no longer be offering two tests to close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases, a process that was originally implemented on April 8.
“Part of our [COVID-19] response is working with AHS to identify ways to reduce testing wait times and to speed up the contact tracing process. This includes a change to our close contact testing approach,” said Dr. Hinshaw.
“As cases rise, we must keep wait times for testing as low as possible.” The doctor went on to explain that, along with increasing staffing and clinic hours across the province, Alberta is shifting back to offering just one test for all close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases if they have no symptoms.
Effective Tuesday, all close contacts are offered testing as soon as they are identified. If close contacts experience symptoms at any time after their first test, they can get tested again. Otherwise, they must remain in quarantine until 14 days have passed, and are no longer requested to have a second test.
The province’s top doctor tweeted a reminder to Albertans on Wednesday afternoon.
Please continue to make safe choices. Our best protection against COVID-19 is to follow the public health measures in place incl no indoor gatherings, wear a mask, keep a 2m distance, stay home/get tested if you’re feeling unwell & get vaccinated as soon as you’re eligible. (4/4)
— Dr. Deena Hinshaw (@CMOH_Alberta) April 28, 2021
Dr. Hinshaw will be providing her next live update about COVID-19 later this week.