Update 217: COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (April 29, 5:30 p.m.)
New regional restrictions will help bend the curve. Albertans are asked to follow all public health guidelines in their communities to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health-care system.
Over the last 24 hours, 2,048 new cases were identified.
There are 632 people in hospital due to COVID-19, including 151 in intensive care.
There are 21,385 active cases in the province.
To date, 165,267 Albertans have recovered from COVID-19.
In the last 24 hours, there were three additional COVID-related deaths reported: two on April 27 and one on April 28.
The testing positivity rate was 10.1 per cent.
There were 20,582 tests (4,137,568 total) completed in the last 24 hours and a total of 2,031,388 people tested overall.
All zones across the province have cases:
Calgary Zone: 8,962 active cases and 65,383 recovered
South Zone: 1,064 active cases and 9,098 recovered
Edmonton Zone: 5,916 active cases and 60,798 recovered
North Zone: 2,994 active cases and 16,673 recovered
Central Zone: 2,395 active cases and 13,297 recovered
54 active cases and 18 recovered cases in zones to be confirmed
Additional information, including case totals, is online.
Alberta has identified 1,329 additional cases of variants of concern, bringing the provincial total to 29,250.
Currently, 750 schools, about 31 per cent, are on alert or have outbreaks, with 4,651 cases in total.
443 schools are on alert, with 958 total cases.
Outbreaks are declared in 307 schools, with a total of 3,693 cases.
In-school transmission has likely occurred in 615 schools. Of these, 234 have had only one new case occur as a result.
There are currently 116 active and 9,360 recovered cases at long-term care facilities and supportive/home living sites.
To date, 1,245 of the 2,075 reported deaths (60 per cent) have been in long-term care facilities or supportive/home living sites.
New public health measures in place
Effective April 30, new mandatory measures for junior and senior high schools, and indoor sports and fitness activities will drive down COVID-19 cases and protect lives in hot spot communities across Alberta.
COVID-19 vaccination program
As of April 28, 1,528,569 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Alberta. This is 34,191 doses per 100,000 population. There are now 292,765 Albertans fully vaccinated with two doses.
All Albertans in Phase 2 are now eligible to book vaccination appointments through AHS or a participating pharmacy, including:
More than 650,000 Albertans in the rest of Phase 2C and 2D.
Approximately 15,000 workers at meat-packing plants.
Staff and residents in correctional facilities and shelters.
Select physician clinics are offering vaccinations in their clinics.
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.
Legislation now allows Albertans up to three hours of paid, job-protected leave to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
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.
These changes will vary by site based on the design of the building, wishes of residents and other factors.
Each site must develop their own visiting approach that falls within the guidelines set out and reflects the risk tolerance of the residents who live at that site.
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.
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 29, 313,498 Albertans were using the ABTraceTogether app, 68 per cent on iOS and 32 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.