Hinshaw will speak at 3:30 p.m. MT on Tuesday. Watch the press conference here. Alberta reported 788 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, combining three days of data from the weekend.
The province also recorded five more deaths from the disease over the weekend, bringing the province’s total to 3,263.
The number of identified cases of the new variant of omicron in the province has increased to 11 to 10 of which have been identified in returning travelers and one in a family contact of a person recently returned home from a trip.
Of the 11 omicron variant cases in Alberta, seven involved people who were fully vaccinated, two who were partially vaccinated, and two who were not vaccinated.
Hinshaw said some household members in these cases have tested positive for COVID-19, but it is not confirmed whether they have the omicron variant.
The growing number shows that Alberta will face the variant on a much larger scale in the near future, said Dr. Craig Jenne, an infectious disease expert at the University of Calgary.
“We know that once the virus is there, the ability to contain it becomes really, very, very strained,” Jenne said.
While it may turn out that the variant does not pose a serious threat, all current evidence shows that it is highly contagious, he said.
“We don’t yet know how this will affect our at-risk population and if this is able to escape vaccines and spread rapidly. “
Our best hope in slowing the arrival of omicron is to strengthen border control for all travelers and toughen the rules for self-isolation, Jenne said.
There are now 4,374 active cases of COVID-19 in Alberta. As of Monday, 366 people were treated in hospital with COVID-19, including 72 in intensive care.
About 77.2 percent of the province’s total population has now received at least one dose, while 71.8 percent are considered fully vaccinated against the virus.