Alberta / covid 19

More than half of all Albertans aged 12 and older are now vaccinated; 877 new cases identified in last 24 hours

News Release
Update 223: COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (May 18, 4:45 p.m.)

More than half of all Albertans aged 12 and older are now 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, 877 new cases were identified.

There are 691 people in hospital due to COVID-19, including 187 in intensive care.

There are 20,013 active cases in the province.

To date, 198,394 Albertans have recovered from COVID-19.

In the last 24 hours, there were four additional COVID-related deaths reported: one on May 11, two on May 16, and one on May 17.

The testing positivity rate was 11.4 per cent.

There were 8,081 tests (4,431,142 total) completed in the last 24 hours and a total of 2,118,323 people tested overall.

All zones across the province have cases:

Calgary Zone: 9,316 active cases and 79,638 recovered

South Zone: 985 active cases and 10,767 recovered

Edmonton Zone: 4,656 active cases and 69,270 recovered

North Zone: 2,991 active cases and 21,561 recovered

Central Zone: 2,054 active cases and 17,141 recovered

11 active cases and 17 recovered cases in zones to be confirmed

Additional information, including case totals, is online.

Alberta has identified 168 additional cases of variants of concern, bringing the provincial total to 41,591.

Currently, 811 schools, about 34 per cent, are on alert or have outbreaks, with 6,355 cases in total.

363 schools are on alert, with 928 total cases.

Outbreaks are declared in 448 schools, with a total of 5,427 cases.

In-school transmission has likely occurred in 848 schools. Of these, 275 have had only one new case occur as a result.

There are currently 115 active and 9,528 recovered cases at long-term care facilities and supportive/home living sites.

To date, 1,253 of the 2,152 reported deaths (58 per cent) have been in long-term care facilities or supportive/home living sites.


New interactive map shows regional vaccination rates

Albertans are now able to track vaccination rates in their local geographic area.


COVID-19 vaccination program

As of May 17, 2,243,969 doses have been administered in Alberta, including 330,602 Albertans fully vaccinated with two doses.

All Albertans aged 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

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

The province has launched a new rapid testing partnership with Alberta Chambers of Commerce.

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.


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

COVID-19 info for Albertans

COVID-19 aggregate data


Multimedia

Watch the news conference

Listen to the news conference

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