Dr. Deena Hinshaw to update Alberta on third wave of COVID-19 pandemic

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health is expected to provide an update Thursday afternoon on the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw has a news conference scheduled for 3:30 p.m. MT. You can watch it live here. 

On Wednesday, Alberta reported 1,351 new cases of COVID-19, the highest total since the last day of 2020. 

Across the province there were 11,464 active cases, an increase of almost 3,000 over the past week.

There were 575 new cases linked to more contagious variants of the coronavirus, which now account for 43.2 percent of all active cases.

One more COVID-19 death was reported, and Alberta hospitals were treating 333 patients for the illness, including 79 people in ICU beds.

The surge in cases coincides with a move to reinstate more stringent public-health restrictions. 

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced on Tuesday the province will effectively return to Step 1 restrictions in an effort to curb infections and ease pressures on the health-care system. 

Restaurants must close their indoor dining. Retail businesses must further limit capacity. Libraries will shutter. Gyms are facing further restrictions and group adult fitness activities are now prohibited. Indoor gatherings remain banned. 

Kenney and public health officials have characterized the situation as a battle between variants vaccinations. 

By Wednesday afternoon, 755,831 vaccine doses had been administered across the province and 133,401 Albertans had been fully immunized with two shots. 

More than 1.5 million Albertans are currently eligible to receive the vaccine. The Kenney government has said that every adult in the province will be offered the vaccine by the end of June.

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