Alberta reported its highest one-day case count of COVID-19 variants of concern on Thursday, with 1,020 new variant cases found.
A total of 1,646 new COVID-19 infections were reported by the province, increasing Alberta’s active case count to 16,223. This is the ninth consecutive day that more than 1,000 new cases were discovered.
With the addition of the new variant cases, there are now 8,682 active variant cases, representing nearly 54% of all active infections.
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The number of Albertans in hospital and intensive care has decreased slightly, with 416 hospitalizations, down from 420 on Wednesday. This includes 86 individuals in the ICU.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, announced five additional deaths related to the virus in a Thursday afternoon COVID-19 update. This raises the province’s death toll to 2,034.
Amidst rising case counts, particularly of variants of concern, the province reached a more positive milestone on Tuesday, April 13.
According to a news release from the Alberta government, one million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have now been delivered through Alberta Health Services and community pharmacies. Nearly 18.1% of all Albertans now have some level of protection against COVID-19.
“Our vaccine rollout is gaining momentum, delivering on our promise to protect Albertans as safely and efficiently as possible,” said Health Minister Tyler Shandro.
“This milestone shows our hard work is paying off. With one million doses delivered already, we are well on our way to safely immunizing every eligible Albertan by the end of June if supply keeps up. The more people we can immunize, the greater impact these vaccines will have on putting COVID-19 behind us.”
During Thursday’s update, Dr. Hinshaw announced that walk-in vaccinations are available at 26 pharmacies in Calgary and Edmonton. Alberta Health Services will open two walk-in AstraZeneca vaccine clinics on Saturday, April 17, in Calgary and Edmonton.
AstraZeneca is currently available to anyone in Alberta between the ages of 55 and 64.
Individuals who are eligible to receive their immunization can also continue to book appointments at participating pharmacies and through Alberta Health Services’ online booking system or by calling 811.
The province’s top doctor added that, within the next few weeks, Alberta Health Services will implement a program to immunize eligible long-stay patients in acute care facilities. Patients who qualify will be able to receive their COVID-19 vaccine onsite, while in hospital, if they wish.
Dr. Hinshaw will provide another live update on COVID-19 early next week.