Canada

Alberta records 1,391 new COVID-19 cases Monday as positivity rate hits 11%

Alberta recorded 1,391 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday as hospitalizations continued on an upward trend.

There are now 460 people in hospital with COVID-19 across the province, 104 of whom are being treated in intensive care. That’s a slight increase from Sunday when 451 people were in hospital.

Monday’s new cases came after more than 12,500 tests were performed, putting the province’s positivity rate at about 11 per cent, according to the province’s chief medical officer of health.

Three additional deaths were reported to Alberta Health in the past 24 hours, bringing the province’s death toll from the disease to 2,043.

A woman in her 60s in the Calgary zone, a woman in her 70s in the North zone and a man in his 70s in the Central zone died. All three cases included comorbidities, according to Alberta Health.

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A total of 1,160 variant cases of COVID-19 were identified Monday. Variants make up about 56.8 per cent of all active cases in the province.

There are now 18,424 active cases of COVID-19 in Alberta: 8,025 are in the Calgary zone, 4,887 are in the Edmonton zone, 2,575 are in the North zone, 1,930 are in the Central zone, 938 are in the South zone and 69 are not tied to a specific zone.

As of April 18, Alberta had administered 1,165,223 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, and 233,340 Albertans were fully vaccinated with two doses.

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On Tuesday, all Albertans born in 1981 or earlier will be eligible to book an appointment to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine. The move comes as Alberta, as well as Ontario and Manitoba, dropped the minimum eligibility age for the vaccine from 55 to 40 years old.

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The decision was made based on public health recommendations. Canada’s federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu said provinces and territories were “free to use” AstraZeneca’s vaccine on any groups aged 18 and above, despite the country’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommendation to not give the vaccine to those under 55.

Read more: Blood clot risks: Comparing COVID-19 vaccines with common medicines, travel and smoking

Health Canada has licensed the AstraZeneca shot for use in people over the age of 18.

Read more: Alberta to lower minimum age for AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from 55 to 40

So far, Alberta has confirmed a total of 172,186 COVID-19 cases, and 151,719 people have recovered since the pandemic began.

A tweet from the province’s chief medical officer of health’s account stated that her next in-person update on COVID-19 would be on Tuesday.

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