Alberta reports 165 new cases of COVID-19, day after province launches $3M vaccine lottery

Alberta reported 165 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday and one more death, a day after the province launched a $3-million vaccine lottery to urge more residents to get the jab.   

As of Sunday, 3,384,026 doses of vaccine had been administered, an increase of 47,176 over the previous day.

Hospitalizations decreased slightly Sunday, as Alberta reported 272 people in hospital with the illness — down 18 from the previous day. Of those, 75 were in intensive care unit beds.    

Including the additional death, Alberta has now lost 2,270 people to COVID-19 since the pandemic began. The death recorded Sunday took place on Friday. 

Provincial labs completed 5,799 tests for the disease on Saturday, for a positivity rate of around 2.8 per cent. 

Total active cases decreased slightly by 67, to 3,180.

Here is how active cases breakdown by health zone: 

  • Calgary zone: 1,320
  • Edmonton zone: 800
  • North zone: 559
  • Central zone: 374
  • South zone: 126
  • Unknown: 1

In a bid to “nudge” those who have not gotten a COVID-19 vaccine, three $1-million prizes will be available for Albertans aged 18 and over who have had at least one dose, within a week of when Alberta hits the 70 per cent mark for vaccination, Premier Jason Kenney announced Saturday.

In an interview with CBC News Sunday, Dr. Darren Markland, an intensive care physician at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton, disagreed with the province’s “Open for Summer” vaccine lottery incentive.

“I think we’re doing OK from the point of view of vaccination, but delta has changed the game,” Markland said, referring to the more infectious variant also known as B.1.617.2.

“I think we need to open up. But with delta, we need a little more time to get there.”

The province reported 68.7 per cent of the population over the age of 12 has received at least one dose of the vaccine Sunday, including 20.2 per cent who are fully vaccinated.  

As for the coronavirus variants, 109 new variant cases were identified on Saturday, for a total of 2,417 active variant cases reported Sunday.

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