COVID-19: variant cases on the rise – Wetaskiwin Times Advertiser
The Government of Alberta and Alberta Health Services (AHS) provided a COVID-19 updated on Tuesday, March 30.
Fort Saskatchewan reported 32 active cases of the virus. Nearby, Sherwood Park reported 62 active cases, Strathcona County reported 26 active cases, and Sturgeon County reported 20 active cases.
St. John Paul II Catholic School informed parents that there were 10 cases of COVID-19 in the school being investigated by AHS. Cases were identified in Grades 5, 7, and 8. Out of an abundance of caution, all students will be moved to at-home learning in the days following spring break — Apr.6 to 9.
All cases will have completed their 14-day quarantine period by the time in-person classes resume on Apr.12.
Provincially, Alberta hit a single-day record for the number of new variant cases in the province after 332 were identified on Tuesday.
All of the new variant cases identified Tuesday were of the B.1.1.7 variant first identified in the United Kingdom.
Across the province, there are 7,975 active cases of COVID-19. With 2,376 of those identified as variants of concern, the variants now make up nearly 30 per cent of all the province’s active COVID-19 cases.
There were 576 new cases of COVID-19 recorded on Tuesday after 8,078 tests were completed over the last 24 hours, for a positivity rate of 7.1 per cent.
There are currently 301 people hospitalized with the virus, an increase of 13 from Monday. Of those, 58 are in intensive care units, a decrease of six.
Four more people have died, raising the provincial death toll from COVID-19 to 1,987.
Meanwhile, Phase 2B of the province’s COVID-19 immunization program began on Tuesday for anyone with underlying health conditions that put them at high risk for severe outcomes if they contract COVID-19.
With nearly one million people under Phase 2B, Hinshaw said this is the largest single group made eligible for vaccination. This means the province will have to move slowly as more doses arrive.
“Albertans born in 1963 or earlier with underlying health conditions can book an appointment at participating pharmacies in Calgary, Edmonton, and Red Deer,” Hinshaw said. “Pharmacies in other communities will start booking later next week as more doses arrive.”
On April 5, Albertans born in 1957, 1958, and 1959 with one or more of the high-risk underlying health conditions will also be able to book appointments with Alberta Health Services.
Additional birth years will become eligible as more vaccines arrive.
Those who are eligible include cancer patients, transplant recipients, and individuals with severe disabilities. A full list of who will be eligible in Phase 2B is available at alberta.ca/vaccine.
-with files from Anna Junker
Published at Fri, 02 Apr 2021 23:18:00 +0000