Alberta sees spike in COVID-19 vaccinations, 2,020 new cases confirmed Friday

Alberta’s daily COVID-19 vaccine numbers nearly tripled Thursday, one day after the province announced a vaccine passport-type program.

The province administered 28,158 doses of COVID vaccine on Thursday. To compare, 9,750 doses were administered on Wednesday.

“Albertans are doing their part to get vaccinated to protect themselves and each other,” Alberta Health said on Twitter on Friday.

Read more: Veteran Edmonton nurse on staffing shortages, skyrocketing COVID-19 patients: ‘It’s devastating’

Eighty per cent of eligible Albertans over the age of 12 now have at least one dose, the province said in a news release on Friday.

Of that same age group, just under 72 per cent are now fully vaccinated.

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“Thank you to not only every Albertan who has stepped up and got vaccinated but who have booked doses,” Premier Jason Kenney said. “We’ve seen a rush in bookings in recent days, and every dose will help bend down the curve and protect our health-care system.”

To date, Alberta has administered 5,754,307 doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

“Millions of vaccines have been administered here and around the world,” chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said. “The evidence is clear: Vaccines are very safe and they work.

“If you haven’t got your shot yet, it is critical that you do so now to help protect yourself and our health-care system.”

Kenney and Health Minister Tyler Shandro announced a number of new restrictions on Wednesday in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Alberta.

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The two also announced a restrictions exemption program where businesses could not adhere to any restrictions if they asked all patrons for proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test taken in the previous 72 hours.

PCR tests from Alberta Health or Alberta Precision Laboratories will not be accepted, the tests must be paid for by the patron.

Read more: Alberta’s COVID-19 vaccine passport, new restrictions: How things are going to change

As of Sept. 15, 79.6 per cent of eligible Albertans over the age of 12 had received one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Just over 71 per cent of the same population was fully vaccinated.

Vaccination appointments can be made online or by calling 811.

Daily COVID-19 numbers

On Friday, the province confirmed an additional 2,020 cases of COVID-19 over the previous 24 hours.

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There were 911 people in hospital – up from 896 the day before – with 215 of those people receiving care for COVID in the ICU.

The ICU number dropped from 222 people the day before.

An additional 18 deaths were reported to Alberta Health since Thursday.

Click to play video: '‘It’s devastating’: Veteran Alberta nurse shares emotional toll 4th wave of COVID-19 is having on front-line workers' ‘It’s devastating’: Veteran Alberta nurse shares emotional toll 4th wave of COVID-19 is having on front-line workers

‘It’s devastating’: Veteran Alberta nurse shares emotional toll 4th wave of COVID-19 is having on front-line workers

Alberta has had 2,523 deaths from COVID-19.

There are now 19,201 active cases across the province. As of Friday’s update there were 5,468 active cases in the Calgary zone, there were 5,467 active cases in the Edmonton zone, the Central zone had 3,080 active cases, there were 1,919 in the South zone and the North zone had 3,237 active cases.

There were 30 active cases not affiliated with a specific zone.

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To date, 277,558 Albertans have contracted COVID-19 and 255,834 have recovered.

Changes to AHS visitation policy

AHS also announced Friday it is adjusting designated support and visitation access at all acute, ambulatory and emergency/urgent care sites starting Sept. 20 “to manage the escalating impact of COVID-19.”

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As of Sept. 20:

  • Two designated support people can be identified for inpatient services, but only one can be on site at a time with the patient.
  • Two designated support people can be identified and be on-site with a maternity patient if physical distancing can be maintained.
  • One designated support person if required to support the care of the emergency and urgent care patient while physically distanced from others not in their household.
  • Two designated support people can be identified and on-site with an end-of-life
  • Two designated support people can be identified and present at the same time for pediatric inpatient and ambulatory care.
  • Sibling visitation for pediatric inpatients is temporarily restricted to monthly visits for long patient stays “due to the increased prevalence and spread of COVID-19 variants.”

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