Alberta / covid 19

More than 2.2 million Albertans now vaccinated; 721 new cases identified in last 24 hours

Update 222: COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (May 17, 5:30 p.m.)

More than 2.2 million Albertans have now been vaccinated. Book your vaccination today and continue following the restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health-care system.

Latest updates

  • Over the last 24 hours, 721 new cases were identified.
  • There are 678 people in hospital due to COVID-19, including 181 in intensive care.
  • There are 21,288 active cases in the province.
  • To date, 196,246 Albertans have recovered from COVID-19.
  • In the last 24 hours, there were five additional COVID-related deaths reported: one on May 14, two on May 15, and two on May 16.
  • The testing positivity rate was 10.4 per cent.
  • There were 7,002 tests (4,423,042 total) completed in the last 24 hours and a total of 2,116,127 people tested overall.
  • All zones across the province have cases:
    • Calgary Zone: 9,912 active cases and 78,681 recovered
    • South Zone: 1,039 active cases and 10,669 recovered
    • Edmonton Zone: 4,930 active cases and 68,742 recovered
    • North Zone: 3,192 active cases and 21,224 recovered
    • Central Zone: 2,183 active cases and 16,913 recovered
    • 32 active cases and 17 recovered cases in zones to be confirmed
    • Additional information, including case totals, is online.
  • Alberta has identified 274 additional cases of variants of concern, bringing the provincial total to 41,423.
  • Currently, 837 schools, about 35 per cent, are on alert or have outbreaks, with 6,461 cases in total.
    • 385 schools are on alert, with 969 total cases.
    • Outbreaks are declared in 452 schools, with a total of 5,492 cases.
    • In-school transmission has likely occurred in 843 schools. Of these, 278 have had only one new case occur as a result.
  • There are currently 116 active and 9,513 recovered cases at long-term care facilities and supportive/home living sites.
  • To date, 1,253 of the 2,148 reported deaths (58 per cent) have been in long-term care facilities or supportive/home living sites.

New interactive map shows regional vaccination rates

COVID-19 vaccination program

  • As of May 16, 2,217,446 have been administered in Alberta, with 42.2 per cent of the population having received at least one dose. There are now 329,613 Albertans fully vaccinated with two doses.
  • All Albertans age 12 and older are eligible to book appointments through AHS or a participating pharmacy provincewide.
  • Legislation now allows Albertans up to three hours of paid, job-protected leave to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

New vaccination campaign launches

  • Back to Normal is a new phase of Alberta’s vaccination campaign, intended to emphasize the crucial importance of Albertans getting vaccinated so life can return to normal.
  • This advertisement is the first element of the campaign. Additional advertising showing other aspects of daily life will be released soon.

Masking exceptions for health conditions

  • The rules around exemptions from wearing a mask due to a medical condition have changed. Individuals are now required to obtain a medical exception letter verifying their health condition from an authorized health-care provider.
  • The medical exception letter must come from a nurse practitioner, physician or psychologist. It may be presented when in a public setting, if requested by enforcement officials or retrospectively in court if a ticket is issued.
  • This is modelled after the approaches currently used in Saskatchewan and other provinces.

Restrictions in place for high case regions

  • Restrictions are in place. Outdoor gatherings are limited to five people, most schools have moved to online learning, retail capacity is reduced and in-person dining and services are not allowed at restaurants, bars and cafés.
  • Municipalities that have fewer than 50 cases per 100,000 people and/or fewer than 30 active cases are able to return to Step 0 level restrictions.

Enforcement of public health measures

  • Fines for non-compliance with public health measures have doubled to $2,000.
  • Unpaid fines are backstopped with stronger fine collection actions and restrictions on registry services. For example, a person may have to pay their outstanding fine before they can renew their driver’s licence.
  • Repeat offenders will be targeted with a new multi-agency enforcement framework.
  • Tickets can be given at the time of an incident or post-infraction – someone who isn’t charged immediately may receive a ticket after authorities do further investigation.

Rapid testing

Continuing care

  • Restrictions for visitors to continuing care facilities have been 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.

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.

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 May 17, 314,644 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 600,000 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.

Quick facts

  • 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.

Related information

Multimedia

Media inquiries

Tom McMillan

780-422-4905
Assistant Director of Communications, Health


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Government of Alberta newsroom
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