Update 216: COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (April 27, 4 p.m.)
Cases and hospitalizations continue to rise in Alberta. Follow all public health guidelines to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health-care system.
Over the last 24 hours, 1,539 new cases were identified.
There are 635 people in hospital due to COVID-19, including 143 in intensive care.
There are 20,721 active cases in the province.
To date, 162,052 Albertans have recovered from COVID-19.
In the last 24 hours, there were seven additional COVID-related deaths reported: one on April 22, one on April 24, and five on April 25.
The testing positivity rate was 11.4 per cent.
There were 13,743 tests (4,097,963 total) completed in the last 24 hours and a total of 2,020,567 people tested overall.
All zones across the province have cases:
Calgary Zone: 8,656 active cases and 64,057 recovered
South Zone: 992 active cases and 8,963 recovered
Edmonton Zone: 5,672 active cases and 59,969 recovered
North Zone: 2,960 active cases and 16,152 recovered
Central Zone: 2,367 active cases and 12,891 recovered
74 active cases and 20 recovered cases in zones to be confirmed
Additional information, including case totals, is online.
Alberta has identified 812 additional cases of variants of concern, bringing the provincial total to 26,863.
Currently, 712 schools, about 29 per cent, are on alert or have outbreaks, with 4,271 cases in total.
434 schools are on alert, with 921 total cases.
Outbreaks are declared in 278 schools, with a total of 3,350 cases.
In-school transmission has likely occurred in 577 schools. Of these, 227 have had only one new case occur as a result.
There are currently 114 active and 9,336 recovered cases at long-term care facilities and supportive/home living sites.
To date, 1,244 of the 2,067 reported deaths (60 per cent) have been in long-term care facilities or supportive/home living sites.
COVID-19 vaccination program
As of April 26, 1,468,785 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Alberta. This is 32,853 doses per 100,000 population. There are now 284,870 Albertans fully vaccinated with two doses.
Beginning the week of April 26, more than 15,000 workers at meat-packing plants will be eligible for vaccinations.
Albertans aged 12 and older with health conditions are now eligible for vaccinations.
Albertans who are profoundly immunocompromised can book a second dose of vaccine 21 to 28 days after the first. Appointments can only be booked by calling 811.
Staff and residents in correctional facilities and shelters are also eligible for vaccines now.
Legislation now allows Albertans up to three hours of paid, job-protected leave to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
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.
Starting May 10, restrictions for visitors to continuing care facilities will be eased.
Alberta Education has approved requests from public and Catholic schools in Calgary and Edmonton to temporarily shift Grades 7 to 12 to at-home learning. Fort McMurray public and Catholic schools have also temporarily moved kindergarten to Grade 12 to at-home learning.
In keeping with the approach taken for other recent shifts to at-home learning, indoor extracurriculars, 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.
In addition, all indoor extracurricular activities, including youth sport, recreation and performance activities in Fort McMurray for all K-12 children and youth must either pause or move outdoors until in-person learning resumes.
Rapid screening tests will be offered at 14 Calgary schools and five Edmonton schools the week of April 26.
There were 19 preliminary positive results out of 4,403 screening tests conducted at 13 Calgary schools between March 18 and April 23.
Strong public health measures remain in place to support the health and safety of students, teachers and staff.
Businesses and service providers are no longer required to have a health-care provider oversee their rapid testing program.
Rapid tests are available for employers.
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.