Alberta reports 399 new COVID-19 cases as vaccine rollout continues

Mar 10 2021, 4:04 pm

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, reported 399 new cases of COVID-19 during a Wednesday afternoon briefing, before sharing an update about vaccinations.

There are now 4,463 active cases in Alberta, with 254 people in hospital due to the virus. Of those, 37 individuals are in intensive care.

The testing positivity rate was 3.7%, which is slightly lower than the past few days.

Two additional deaths were reported, raising the province’s death toll to 1,928.

Alberta has identified 47 cases of variants of concern in the past 24 hours. This brings the total number of variant cases found in the province to 734.

While any number of variant cases is worrying, Hinshaw noted that “so far we have been able to slow the growth of these cases here in Alberta.”

“In the past six weeks, the percentage of all of our [variant] cases has risen somewhat, from about 3% of all active cases in late January, to about 9% of active cases today.”

“Having said that, in other jurisdictions, they have seen a much more rapid growth of variants of concern as a proportion of all COVID cases,” she continued. “Going from three or 4%, to well over half of all active cases in just six weeks.”

Alberta’s top doctor went on to provide an update about COVID-19 vaccinations, saying that, as of March 9, nearly 309,000 doses of the vaccine have been administered in the province.

There are now over 91,000 Albertans fully immunized with two doses.

On Wednesday, Albertans born in 1957 and First Nations, Métis, and Inuit individuals born in 1972 were able to start booking appointments for their AstraZeneca vaccine.

Beginning Thursday, March 11, those born in 1958 can make their AstraZeneca vaccine appointments by calling 811 or booking online. First Nations, Metis, and Inuit born in 1973 can book an appointment via 811.

“Individuals who were eligible today will retain their eligibility,” Hinshaw explained. “And we will be adding this additional birth year, so there will be two years eligible tomorrow. We will continue booking eligible Albertans as AstraZeneca supply allows.”

The province anticipates that demand and 811 call volume will remain high in the coming days, and recommends making appointments online or during off-peak hours to avoid the rush.

Booking will continue to roll out one birth year at a time based on availability, and Hinshaw encouraged all eligible Albertans to get the vaccine.

“The more people who become immunized, the less the virus will be able to mutate, and the less it will impact our communities.”

Hinshaw will provide another update on Thursday afternoon.

Elle McLeanElle McLean

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