Canada

Number of active COVID-19 cases in Alberta surpasses 1,500 as new infections rise

One day after Alberta announced people with COVID-19 soon won’t be required to stay away from others when they are ill, the province’s active number of COVD-19 cases surpassed the 1,500-mark.

On Thursday, Alberta Health announced it has identified 233 new coronavirus cases in the province over the past 24 hours while completing 7,857 COVID-19 tests in the same time frame. Alberta’s positivity rate currently sits at 2.38 per cent.

Alberta Health did not report any new coronavirus deaths on Thursday.

The Calgary zone continues to see the highest number of active cases with 903 while the Edmontone zone has the second most with 274. The South zone had 149 active cases as of Thursday afternoon while the North zone had 110 and the Central zone had 80. Four cases have not been linked to a particular zone.

As of Thursday afternoon, there were 89 people in hospital in Alberta with COVID-19, with 20 of those in intensive care units.

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Of eligible Albertans age 12 or older, 75.7 per cent have now received a single dose of a COVID-19 vaccine while 64.6 per cent have now had two doses.

As the rise in COVID-19 case numbers in Alberta continues, the province’s chief medical officer of health announced Wednesday that as of Aug. 16, people who test positive for COVID-19 will no longer be required to self-isolate even though she still recommended it is a good idea to do so.

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READ MORE: Alberta to adjust COVID-19 masking, isolation, testing rules over next month

Dr. Deena Hinshaw also announced that as of Thursday, close contacts of COVID-19 cases will no longer be told of their exposure by health officials and not be required to self-isolate.

Hinshaw said the changes were being made because Alberta has other pressing issues it must divert resources to that had previously been made available to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

READ MORE: Amid pushback, Alberta health minister defends plan to ease COVID-19 isolation, masking, testing rules 

“We need to make sure that Alberta’s health system is able to support all patients,” Hinshaw said. “That is why we are making changes to bring COVID-19 measures in line with how we handle other respiratory viruses.

“With the vaccine readily available, the need for the types of extraordinary restrictions we used in the past has diminished.”

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–With files from The Canadian Press’ Alanna Smith

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