Update 211: COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (April 8, 4:15 p.m.)
Rapid screening tests will be offered at two Calgary high schools. Continue to follow all public health guidelines to stop the spread and protect the health-care system.
Over the last 24 hours, 1,429 new cases were identified.
There are 340 people in hospital due to COVID-19, including 83 in intensive care.
There are 12,187 active cases in the province.
To date, 142,713 Albertans have recovered from COVID-19.
In the last 24 hours, there were three additional COVID-related deaths reported: one on Jan. 20, and two on April 7.
The testing positivity rate was 9.4 per cent.
There was an increase of 15,203 tests (3,804,181 total) for a total of 1,935,332 people tested.
All zones across the province have cases:
Calgary Zone: 5,709 active cases and 55,143 recovered
South Zone: 915 active cases and 7,679 recovered
Edmonton Zone: 2,916 active cases and 55,189 recovered
North Zone: 1,614 active cases and 13,417 recovered
Central Zone: 940 active cases and 11,162 recovered
93 active cases and 123 recovered cases in zones to be confirmed
Additional information, including case totals, is online.
Alberta has identified 717 additional cases of variants of concern, bringing the provincial total to 8,278.
Currently, 414 schools, about 17 per cent, are on alert or have outbreaks, with 2,361 cases in total.
250 schools are on alert, with 535 total cases.
Outbreaks are declared in 164 schools, with a total of 1,826 cases.
In-school transmission has likely occurred in 368 schools. Of these, 149 have had only one new case occur as a result.
There are currently 109 active and 9,174 recovered cases at long-term care facilities and supportive/home living sites.
To date, 1,236 of the 2,005 reported deaths (62 per cent) have been in long-term care facilities or supportive/home living sites.
Additional restrictions are in place to bend the curve of new COVID-19 infections.
Updated mandatory health measures are in effect for retail, fitness and performance activities.
Effective at noon on April 9, restaurants will be restricted to providing only takeout, delivery and patio service.
COVID-19 vaccination program
As of April 7, 779,817 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Alberta. This is 17,443.1 doses per 100,000 population. There are now 143,625 Albertans fully vaccinated with two doses.
Beginning April 8, additional AstraZeneca vaccine appointments are available through AHS in Edmonton and Calgary to those aged 55 to 64.
As of April 7, everyone eligible in Phase 2B can book their appointment through AHS or a participating pharmacy.
More than 250 pharmacies now offer immunizations, with further expansions by the end of the month.
Community physicians will offer vaccinations in their clinics starting later in April.
Alberta’s phased approach to vaccination focuses first on priority health-care workers and those who are at highest risk of severe outcomes.
Rapid screening tests will be offered at two Calgary high schools to more than 3,000 students:
Robert Thirsk High School, starting on April 8
Ernest Manning High School, starting on April 12
A total of 952 tests were administered at the two Calgary schools that took part in the rapid testing pilot in March: Rundle School and St. John XXIII School.
There were two preliminary positive results out of the 952 screening tests between March 18 and 29. Rapid tests must be confirmed with an additional test at an Alberta Health Services assessment centre.
Strong public health measures remain in place to support the health and safety of students, teachers and staff.
COVID Care Teams outreach
If you or others in your home have been directed to self-isolate/quarantine by Alberta Health Services and are unable to do so safely at home, please contact 211 to discuss options, including accessing an assigned hotel to safely isolate (free of charge). Financial assistance may also be available in the amount of $625, upon completion of the self-isolation period.
Enforcement of public health measures
The government has granted certain Alberta peace officers and community peace officers temporary authority to enforce public health orders.
Not following mandatory restrictions will result in fines of $1,000 per ticketed offence and up to $100,000 through the courts.
Albertans downloading tracer app
All Albertans are encouraged to download the secure ABTraceTogether app, which is integrated with provincial contact tracing. The federal app is not a contact tracing app.
Secure contact tracing is an effective tool to stop the spread by notifying people who were exposed to a confirmed case so they can isolate and be tested.
As of April 8, 312,037 Albertans were using the ABTraceTogether app, 69 per cent on iOS and 31 per cent on Android.
Secure contact tracing is a cornerstone of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy.
MyHealth Records quick access
Parents and guardians can access the COVID-19 test results for children under the age of 18 through MyHealth Records (MHR) as soon as they are ready.
More than 500,000 Albertans have MHR accounts.
All Albertans, especially seniors and those at risk, are encouraged to get immunized against influenza.
To date, 1,616,957 Albertans have received their flu shot.
Addiction and mental health supports
Confidential supports are available. The Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642 and the Addiction Help Line at 1-866-332-2322 operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Resources are also available online.
The Kids Help Phone is available 24-7 and offers professional counselling, information and referrals and volunteer-led, text-based support to young people by texting CONNECT to 686868.
Online resources provide advice on handling stressful situations and ways to talk with children.
Family violence prevention
A 24-hour Family Violence Information Line at 310-1818 provides anonymous help in more than 170 languages.
Alberta’s One Line for Sexual Violence is available at 1-866-403-8000, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
People fleeing family violence can call local police or the nearest RCMP detachment to apply for an Emergency Protection Order, or follow the steps in the Emergency Protection Orders Telephone Applications (COVID-19).
Information sheets and other resources on family violence prevention are at alberta.ca/COVID19.
Alberta’s government is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by protecting lives and livelihoods with precise measures to bend the curve, sustain small businesses and protect Alberta’s health-care system.
Legally, all Albertans must physically distance and isolate when sick or with symptoms.
Good hygiene is your best protection: wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face, cough or sneeze into an elbow or sleeve, and dispose of tissues appropriately.
Please share acts of kindness during this difficult time at #AlbertaCares.
Alberta Connects Contact Centre (310-4455) is open Monday to Friday, 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.