Update 215: COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (April 22, 3:45 p.m.)
Cases continue to rise sharply. Follow all public health guidelines to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health-care system.
Over the last 24 hours, 1,857 new cases were identified.
There are 518 people in hospital due to COVID-19, including 116 in intensive care.
There are 19,182 active cases in the province.
To date, 155,851 Albertans have recovered from COVID-19.
In the last 48 hours, there were six additional COVID-related deaths reported: one on April 18, three on April 20 and two on April 21.
The testing positivity rate was 10.7 per cent.
There were 17,524 tests (4,016,838 total) completed in the last 24 hours and a total of 1,997,738 people tested overall.
All zones across the province have cases:
Calgary Zone: 8,380 active cases and 61,322 recovered
South Zone: 970 active cases and 8,613 recovered
Edmonton Zone: 5,102 active cases and 58,370 recovered
North Zone: 2,708 active cases and 15,245 recovered
Central Zone: 1,994 active cases and 12,284 recovered
28 active cases and 17 recovered cases in zones to be confirmed
Additional information, including case totals, is online.
Alberta has identified 1,326 additional cases of variants of concern, bringing the provincial total to 21,261.
Currently, 612 schools, about 25 per cent, are on alert or have outbreaks, with 3,502 cases in total.
380 schools are on alert, with 784 total cases.
Outbreaks are declared in 232 schools, with a total of 2,718 cases.
In-school transmission has likely occurred in 504 schools. Of these, 211 have had only one new case occur as a result.
There are currently 119 active and 9,280 recovered cases at long-term care facilities and supportive/home living sites.
To date, 1,247 of the 2,054 reported deaths (61 per cent) have been in long-term care facilities or supportive/home living sites.
COVID-19 vaccination program
As of April 21, 1,275,287 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Alberta. This is 28,526 doses per 100,000 population. There are now 252,422 Albertans fully vaccinated with two doses.
Legislation has passed that allows Albertans up to three hours of paid, job-protected leave to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
Effective April 23, Albertans who have received solid organ or stem cell transplants, are currently undergoing specific immune compromising treatments such as chemotherapy and immunotherapy, or are being treated with an anti-CD20 monolocal antibody can book a second dose of vaccine 21 to 28 days after the first. Appointments can only be booked by calling 811.
Participating pharmacies and AHS clinics are offering AstraZeneca vaccines for Albertans aged 40 and older. Appointments are available through AHS and participating pharmacies.
AHS has added additional walk-in clinics to every zone for eligible Albertans who are interested in receiving AstraZeneca vaccine.
On April 21, walk-in clinics opened in Lethbridge, Camrose, Red Deer, Grande Prairie and Fort McMurray.
On April 23, clinics will open in Brooks and Medicine Hat.
Staff and residents in correctional facilities and shelters are also eligible for vaccines now.
Selected physician clinics are offering vaccinations in their clinics.
Alberta’s phased approach to vaccination focuses first on priority health-care workers and those who are at highest risk of severe outcomes.
In keeping with the approach taken to other recent shifts to at-home learning, indoor extra-curricular, youth sport, recreation and performance activities for the Grades 7 to 12 age groups in Edmonton will also be required to pause or move outdoors for this time period.
Rapid screening tests will be offered at 14 Calgary schools and five Edmonton schools the week of April 26.
There were eight preliminary positive results out of 2,803 screening tests conducted at six Calgary schools from March 18 to April 16. Testing is being conducted at eight Calgary schools the week of April 19.
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.
Public health measures in place
Targeted restrictions are in place to bend the curve of new COVID-19 infections. These mandatory, provincewide restrictions are helping protect the health system and slow the spread of COVID-19.
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 22, 313,084 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.
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.