Everything you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Saturday, July 24

The latest COVID-19 numbers

  • The province will not report COVID-19 data and vaccination numbers this weekend.
  • Alberta reported 98 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday.
  • There have been two new deaths. A total of 2,322 Albertans have died. 
  • There are 84 people being treated in hospital for COVID-19 in Alberta. Of those, 26 are in intensive care units. While COVID-19 hospitalizations have continued to decline, the province is experiencing an uptick in daily case counts, active cases and positivity rate.
  • The 98 new cases were detected out of 7,609 tests, with a positivity rate around 1.3 per cent.
  • There are now 799 active cases of COVID-19 across the province, an increase of 123 from the previous day.
  • The rate at which COVID-19 cases spread from one person to the next is once again rising in the province. As of last week, Alberta’s provincewide R-value was 0.84, with a confidence interval of 0.74 to 0.94. It was even higher in Edmonton, at 0.97 with a confidence interval pushing the city’s R-value potentially over one. 
  • Public health officials have reported the first cases of the C.37 coronavirus variant in Alberta — also known as the lambda variant. Both were travel-related.
  • 230,039 Albertans are considered to have recovered from COVID-19.

The latest on restrictions and reopenings:

  • The U.S. land border will remain closed to non-essential travel until at least Aug. 21, according to a renewal order issued by the American government Wednesday. In a notice pre-published in the U.S. Federal Register, the government says while vaccination rates have improved, opening the land border to non-essential travel still poses too high a risk.
  • The Canadian government announced Monday it plans to let fully vaccinated tourists visit Canada again soon. Ottawa says starting Aug. 9 at 12:01 a.m. ET fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents living in that country will be able to visit Canada without having to quarantine for two weeks.
  • The government said it plans to allow fully vaccinated travellers from all other countries to enter Canada without quarantine on Sept. 7.
  • Canadians and permanent residents who are fully vaccinated will need to show documents proving they received doses of vaccines approved in Canada at least 14 days prior to entering the country.
  • Officials said travellers must electronically submit COVID-19-related information to the government’s ArriveCAN app before arriving, meet the pre- and on-arrival test requirements, be asymptomatic and have a suitable quarantine plan.
  • Alberta entered Stage 3 of its three-stage reopening plan on July 1, lifting all restrictions. The general indoor provincial mask mandate was lifted, but masking might still be required in limited settings or if certain communities continue it under local bylaws.
  • The Alberta government announced on July 13 that remaining restrictions in effect for continuing care facilities would be lifted in a two-stage process beginning as soon as operators were able to make any necessary changes.
  • The first phase was to end remaining visitor restrictions, limits to dining and recreation activities, and additional screening for residents who go off-site. Outbreak protocols, single-site staffing and other measures were to remain in place until further notice.

(Note the latest daily count of new cases in the above chart will usually vary slightly from the net new cases Alberta Health announces each day. For more on why, click here.)

The latest on vaccines:

  • Alberta hit a significant mark in the vaccination campaign Thursday — 75 per cent of residents over the age of 12 have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 61.3 per cent have had two doses.
  • A total of 2,822,412 Albertans have received at least one dose of vaccine, the ministry says.
  • But Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw is not satisfied, as the figures mean there are still a quarter of eligible Albertans left who still have not received the vaccine.
  • A poll released Wednesday by the Angus Reid Institute suggests that vaccine hesitancy is more common in Alberta than in the rest of the country. The survey found that one in five Albertans remain disinclined to get a shot — twice the national average. 
  • According to the poll, in B.C. the hesitancy rate is 12 per cent, and in Ontario and Quebec it’s just nine per cent.
  • “We absolutely need to get a better push on vaccine uptake,” said Craig Jenne, an associate professor at the University of Calgary in the department of microbiology, immunology and infectious diseases.
  • Alberta reached a significant milestone in its COVID-19 immunization campaign on July 19 with more than five million doses of vaccines administered.
  • Dr. Deena Hinshaw tweeted on July 21 that the province’s latest data reaffirms that vaccination provides excellent protection against infection and variants.
  • Hinshaw said one dose proves to be 57 per cent effective against the B.1.617 variant, and increases to 85 per cent with two doses. Against the B.1.1.7 variant, two doses prove to be 91 per cent effective.
  • She also noted that 96 per cent of Albertans who have tested positive for the virus since Jan. 1 had not had two doses of vaccine, and 91 per cent of COVID-19 deaths and 95 per cent of hospital and intensive care unit admissions followed the same trend.
  • AHS is offering no-appointment, first and second dose COVID-19 immunization clinics with Pfizer vaccine at the Calgary Telus Convention Centre and the Genesis Centre, from Wednesday, July 21, through Monday, July 26.
  • Clinics are also running in Calgary at the Somali Cultural Centre, 3940 29 Street N.E. on July 24, and at the  Crossroads Community Centre at 1803 14 Ave N.E. on July 29. 
  • North of Calgary, AHS will also operate a clinic in the Crossfield Community Centre on July 27.
  • Rapid flow COVID-19 immunization clinics at the Expo Centre in Edmonton and the Calgary Convention Centre will close by the end of July, Alberta Health Services said Wednesday.
  • Alberta Health has partnered with a coalition of businesses to launch a mobile clinic that will administer first and second doses of the vaccine at remote work camps, rural communities and hard-to-reach populations.
  • Immunizations start next week in the Banff and Kananaskis areas as the clinic begins its tour of the province.

See which regions are being hit hardest:

Here is the detailed regional breakdown of active cases as reported by the province on Friday.

  • Calgary zone: 473.
  • Edmonton zone: 155.
  • Central zone: 39.
  • South zone: 56.
  • North zone: 75.
  • Unknown: 1.

You can see active cases by local health area on the following interactive map. Scroll, zoom and click on the map for more information:

Here are the latest Alberta COVID-19 stories:

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