Alberta has 325 COVID-19 variants, over 700 new infections

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Alberta has 325 COVID-19 variants, over 700 new infections


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Alberta has found 325 more cases of more contagious variants of COVID-19 as strains begin to make up a larger portion of the province’s active infections.

The 325 newly detected variant cases are all of strain B.1.1.7, which originated in the United Kingdom.

In total, the province found 2,626 variant cases, the vast majority of which are B.1.1.7. Of these cases, 1,654 remain active, representing 23.4% of the total active infections in Alberta.

A recent increase in rates of COVID-19 cases in Alberta continued on Friday, with the province reporting 717 more cases of the novel coronavirus. This is the second-highest total since January 15, surpassed only by the 764 cases the day before.

The new infections came from 13,308 tests, for a positive rate of 5.4%. This is an increased positivity rate compared to previous months, but is the seven-day average.

The new cases brought the number of active cases in Alberta above 7,000 for the first time since January 28.

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Despite the growing number elsewhere, the total number of hospitalizations fell by 3%. There are now 284 Albertans hospitalized with COVID-19, including 59 patients in intensive care units.

Three other deaths from the virus have also been reported, including a man in his 60s from the Alberta Health Services Calgary area. Alberta’s pandemic toll is 1,979.

Speaking at an independent press conference on Friday, Premier Jason Kenney said Alberta would be willing to impose further targeted public health measures, “if we see a dangerous spike which we believe will threatened the capacity of our health care system.

He defended the province’s resistance to the release of models or projections of the spread of COVID-19 while criticizing those released by the Public Health Agency of Canada, saying inaccurate models can undermine public confidence in the government’s response to the pandemic.

“We are concerned. We’re concerned about the increase in active cases, new cases, the rate of transmission and hospitalizations, all of those parameters, ”Kenney said.

“We have to bring the public with us, and constantly releasing models that each time turn out to be spectacularly inaccurate is not a great way to build public trust.”

In the Public Health Agency of Canada’s modeling released on Friday, the group predicted a rapid increase in cases in the following weeks as variants took hold across the country. The country will strike one million cases a day next month, the agency said.

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In a statement, NDP health critic David Shepherd called the jump in variant cases “of great concern to all Albertans” and again called for provincial modeling.

“Doctors and frontline health care providers are gearing up for a third wave and yet Jason Kenney still refuses to release the modeling,” he said.

Canada ended the week with more vaccine distribution hiccups.

The federal government announced Thursday that 590,400 doses of Moderna originally slated to arrive in Canada this weekend would be delayed by a few days due to quality assurance requirements.

Shipping is expected no later than next Thursday, and Moderna said the issue should not impact future deliveries.

The country will get a boost next week, however, when 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine on loan from the United States arrive in Canada on Tuesday.

In total, Canada is expected to receive 3.2 million doses of the vaccine next week. For Alberta, that will mean an influx of 140,400 doses of Pfizer and 67,400 doses of Moderna. The province can also expect around 175,500 doses of AstraZeneca based on previous shipments, although the federal government has not posted provincial allowances for the last shipment.

Kenney again criticized the federal government for its insufficient vaccine supply in Alberta, arguing that immunizations present an opportunity to escape the pandemic without once again placing more restrictions on business and public life.

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“We need more vaccines yesterday. As we’ve always said over the past two months, we’re in a race between vaccines and variants, ”Kenney said.

“I don’t want the variants to win, nor do we want to inflict massive damage on people through widespread restrictions. That’s why the solution here is vaccines. The federal government must do its job and provide us with those doses.

Vaccinations continue in Alberta, where 463,816 people have now received at least one of two doses of vaccine needed.

The province’s vaccination rate is increasing, with 26,592 vaccines administered Thursday, the province’s second-highest campaign total. Overall, 10.5% of Albertans and 13.5% of Albertan adults received at least one injection.

A total of six million additional doses of COVID-19 vaccines are expected to enter Canada over the next three weeks, the same number that has arrived in the country to date since the vaccines were first approved in December 2020, according to Federal Procurement Minister Anita. Anand.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr Deena Hinshaw did not hold a press conference on Friday. She will be back on Tuesday.

—With files from The Canadian Press

[email protected]

Twitter: @jasonfherring



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