Alberta sees rise in cases, variants of concern

Dr. Deena Hinshaw provides an update on COVID-19 in Alberta

Dr. Deena Hinshaw provides an update on COVID-19 in Alberta

There were also three new deaths.

Across the province, 284 people were being treated in hospital for the disease, including 59 in intensive care beds. Hinshaw said variants now make up about 19 per cent of all active cases, with nearly 99 per cent of these the United Kingdom variant B.1.1.7.

The number of active COVID-19 cases in St. Albert on Wednesday dropped slightly to 50 from 52.

The province reported 717 new cases of COVID-19 - the second straight day that new infections exceeded 700.

Twenty-one per cent of the 6,835 infections are linked to the variants of concern, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said.

Two people dead in U.S. beachfront shooting
The officer was placed on administrative assignment pending an investigation, per standard procedure, the department said. Eight people were injured in a shooting that happened just after 11pm on Friday in the U.S. city.

The next reopening stage would have included relaxed rules on worship services. Restrictions on indoor gatherings would have been eased as well, but remain banned.

"During spring break, I urge everyone to be extra careful and limit in-person interactions as much as possible", she said Friday in a Twitter post. Hinshaw cautioned earlier this week that additional restrictions may be necessary to slow the spread and ease the effect on hospitals. "Obviously variants are also an additional metric to watch but there's no single metric that will tell us when we need to implement something or not". So far, Alberta has administered 558,763 doses of COVID-19, including 94,947 Albertans who are fully immunized with two doses.

Hinshaw said the growth is from little moments in many different settings when Albertans come in close contact with each other and give the virus an opportunity to transmit.

She encouraged people to stay away from the infectious individual in the house, or for that person to stay in an isolation hotel, which are free of charge.

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