These variant cases now represent about 19% of all active cases in the province. The spread of variants and the increase in the overall number of cases were among the reasons the province announced on Monday that it would not proceed with Stage 3 of its plan to reopen.
“With the delay in Stage 3 and the increase in cases, I know many Albertans are wondering where this increased spread is coming from,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health, said Wednesday, at a press conference.
“Unfortunately, there is not a single industry or activity that is responsible for the recent increase. We have seen social gatherings indoors, epidemics, and people working while symptomatic play a role, along with many other factors. ”
Hinshaw said public health officials would have an easier job if there was only one activity fueling the entire spread.
“Unfortunately, after more than a year of COVID-19, we all know it’s not that simple. It is not just an activity or a place that can put us and others at risk.
“Instead, the growth we see is the result of small moments in many different settings, when we come into close contact with other people and give the virus opportunities for transmission.
“This has always been one of the biggest challenges with COVID-19 and the variants make it even more difficult. ”
Alberta’s leading public health physician once again urged Albertans to be “extremely vigilant” in following health measures and urged those who are feeling sick to stay home and get tested.
” In many ways, [public health measures] matters more than ever because we are nearing the end of this pandemic, thanks to vaccines, ”she said.
Active cases increase by 1,100 in a week
Active cases of COVID-19 in Alberta have increased by more than 1,100 in the past week.
After peaking at more than 20,000 cases in mid-December, that number has declined steadily for more than two months.
On February 10, the total fell below 5,000 active cases and remained below that level for five weeks.
Then, on March 16, the trend changed and the province reported 5,091 cases. Since then, the active cases reported each day were:
- March 17, 5,258 active cases.
- March 18, 5,589 active cases.
- March 19, 5,776 active cases.
- March 20, 6,127 active cases.
- March 21, 6,335 active cases.
- March 22, 6,231 active cases.
(The total reported on Tuesday, as always, was for the past 24 hours.)
Alberta has now administered more than 512,000 doses of the vaccine, Hinshaw said, and another 418,000 people have signed up for the vaccine.