No easing of restrictions for Easter long weekend as Alberta continues to smash COVID-19 case records

No easing of restrictions for Easter long weekend as Alberta continues to smash COVID-19 case records

EDMONTON – Alberta continued its upward trend in COVID-19 cases on Thursday as the province registered 875 cases – a new record of cases since mid-January.
The province reported 875 new cases after reporting 871 cases on Wednesday. Of these, 322 were variants of concern. The test positivity rate was 6.5%.

Almost 37 percent of active COVID-19 cases in Alberta are now variants of concern.

Four more deaths from the disease have been reported, bringing the total to 1,994. One of the deaths was on March 26, two were on Wednesday and one was on Thursday. To date, 62% of deaths from COVID-19 have occurred in long-term care facilities or nursing homes with supportive services.

There are 8,653 active cases including 292 in hospital and 59 in ICU.

Three hundred inpatients was a key measure in the province’s plan to reopen which required fewer “ands” to lift restrictions.

Every health zone in the province had active cases, led by the Calgary zone with 4,058 active cases. The Edmonton area has 1,889 and the North area has 1,058. The south area and the central area have 864 and 741 cases, respectively. There are 43 active cases in areas to be confirmed as of Thursday.

To date, 138,560 Albertans have recovered from COVID-19.

Premier Jason Kenney and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw have pleaded for Albertans to heed calls to follow public health restrictions as the Easter long weekend begins on Friday.

“Coming into the Easter long weekend, I had hoped I could tell you that we had reached a milestone in our fight against COVID-19,” Kenney said, “that the spread of the disease has slowed down and that we could all come together. the table with extended family and friends to celebrate Easter, Passover, Vaisakhi or just to enjoy the spring break.

“Unfortunately, we are not in this situation today,” he added.


“Instead of delivering a message of openness and optimism, I’m here with an advocacy,” Kenney told Albertans. “Please follow Alberta’s health restrictions and guidelines this weekend and in the weeks to come.”

Kenney pointed out that there is a ban on socializing indoors except for those already in the same household, reminding Albertans that if they live alone, they can have their two designated close contacts.

“Not gathering indoors is the most important thing we can do right now. ”

No new restrictions have been announced by the province.


Kenney said it is only a matter of time before the variant of the cases of concern overtakes the usual COVID-19 cases.

“The variants are not only more contagious, but also in the case of B. 1.1.7 more likely to cause serious disease, which means an even higher percentage of younger cases likely to need hospital cases”, Hinshaw said.

Hinshaw, she added that the second wave of daily average hospitalizations were around 500 Albertans under the age of 75, of whom 119 were in need of intensive care and five were dying.

Currently, the average age of hospitalizations is 62 years and the average age of need for ICU care is 58 years.

To date, Hinshaw said only 6% of Albertans under the age of 65 have received their COVID-19 vaccination, meaning the province predicts that for every 1,000 cases, about 40 hospitalizations will occur within weeks.

“We are a long way from being able to offer the vaccine to all those for whom a COVID-19 infection signifies a need for hospitalization or maintenance of life,” she said.

As of Wednesday, 653,010 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered in the province, or 14,767.7 doses per 100,000 inhabitants. About 104,000 Albertans have been fully immunized.


Kenney responded to Albertans who believe the province should follow what Texas or Florida have done in terms of reopening.

For him, the main difference between these two states and Alberta is in the vaccination rates.

“They’re way ahead of us when it comes to immunizations,” Kenney noted.

“If our federal government did not put Canada at the back of the pack for vaccine procurement, we would be where they are in these US states.”


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