Alberta reported 425 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, raising the province’s active infection count to 4,546.
There were nine additional cases of variants of concern identified on March 11, bringing the provincial total to 784 variant cases.
Currently, 257 Albertans are in hospital with COVID-19, including 38 in intensive care.
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Testing positivity was at 4.5%, remaining below the threshold of 5% that’s considered safe to open schools and other community activities.
Two additional COVID-19 deaths were reported, bringing the province’s death toll to 1,935.
The province is preparing to move into Phase 2A of its vaccination rollout program next week. Appointments for vaccines will be expanded to include 437,000 Albertans aged 65 to 74.
Starting on Monday, March 15, all Albertans born between 1947 and 1956 will be able to book at a number of participating pharmacies across Alberta.
First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people born in 1971 or earlier and living off-reserve or settlement can also book an appointment at any participating pharmacy.
For those who would like to book their vaccination through Alberta Health Services, appointments will initially be limited on March 15 to Albertans born in 1947 and First Nations, Métis, or Inuit individuals living off-reserve or off-settlement and born in 1962 or earlier.
These groups can book their vaccination appointment online or by calling 811.
More appointments will become available for other birth years in the following days, one year at a time. The government asks Albertans born after 1947 to watch for announcements of bookings opening for later birth years.
The Alberta government notes that Phase 2A also includes staff and residents of seniors supportive living facilities who have not yet received the vaccine. Alberta Health Services will be contacting these facilities directly to book immunizations.
“Momentum is building in Alberta’s vaccine rollout plan, and we are well on our way to delivering on our commitment to provide a first dose to every adult who wants one by the end of June,” said Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health.
“The more people who step forward for vaccination when it’s their turn, the faster we’ll reduce the spread of the virus and resume activities that are important to all of us and our communities.”
At this time, Albertans eligible to book appointments in Phase 2A will receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
The AstraZeneca/Covishield vaccine continues to be available to Albertans born between 1957 and 1970 by calling 811 or booking online, and to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people born between 1972 and 1975 by calling 811.
Ahead of the weekend, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, shared a reminder.
I know people are tired of #COVID19AB, but by following the health measures that are in place, we are helping to reduce the likelihood of a 3rd wave, and will eventually put this pandemic behind us. (4/4)
— Dr. Deena Hinshaw (@CMOH_Alberta) March 12, 2021