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The number of COVID-19 cases in Alberta continues to reach new highs, with the province reporting on Saturday it surpassed 25,000 active infections for the first time in the pandemic.
The province reported 2,042 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Saturday, catapulting it to 25,155 active cases, a new height for active infections that far exceeds peaks recorded during the first and second waves of the virus in Alberta.
During the first wave, the number of active cases in Alberta peaked at less than 3,000. At the height of the second wave, there were just under 21,000 active cases in the province. Currently, about one in 175 Albertans has an active laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19.
The number of active cases is highest in the Calgary Health Services area of Alberta, where there are 11,178 active infections, or 44% of the Alberta total.
Alberta’s 2,042 new infections on Saturday came from about 18,800 tests, which represents a positivity rate of 10.8%.
Despite the continued surge in cases in Alberta, the province’s hospitalization rates remain stable. There are 661 Albertans currently hospitalized with COVID-19, including 148 people receiving treatment in intensive care units.
Rates of Albertans requiring hospitalization for COVID-19 treatment have peaked in the past 10 days. The total number of hospitalizations due to the virus remains below the second wave peak of 906, although intensive care use is near its highest point on record.
Two more deaths from COVID-19 were reported on Saturday, bringing Alberta’s toll from the pandemic to 2,108.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw did not provide an update on Saturday but asked Albertans on Twitter to continue to monitor public health measures to help reduce case rates in the weeks to come.
Speaking on Thursday, Hinshaw said reducing community transmission became more difficult as the rate of cases increased.
“Our first and second waves showed us that uncontrollable spread can happen quickly, and the more cases increase, the harder it is to reverse the curve and reduce the spread of infection in the province,” said Hinshaw.
“We all need to dramatically reduce the number of face-to-face interactions we have every day, in every part of our life.”
As COVID-19 vaccinations spread among older age groups, the proportion of virus cases detected in young people is increasing.
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The spread among younger age groups has increased in recent days. As of May 1, 29% of new cases have been found in people under the age of 18, despite this group making up only about 24% of Albertans.
Almost all schools in Alberta switched to e-learning on Friday in an effort to limit the spread among younger age groups, although Calgary’s public and Catholic high schools have already been online since mid-mid. -April. A total of 411 schools in Alberta have experienced outbreaks of at least five confirmed cases.
Vaccinations continue in Alberta at a near-record rate, with 54,242 additional vaccines reported administered through the end of Friday. It is the second largest ever, after nearly 60,000 gunshots reported the day before.
In total, Alberta administered 1.85 million vaccines, with 1.53 million people receiving at least one of the two required doses.
Thirty-four percent of Albertans have now had at least one stroke, as have 43 percent of people aged 16 and over.