Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said that only health care workers in Edmonton and Calgary will recieve the inital round of the COVID-19 vaccine. (photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)

Central zone health care workers excluded from first round of vaccine

Central zone has 1,480 active cases of COVID-19

Central zone doctors, ICU nurses and long-term care workers will not be included in the first round of COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw confirmed that only those workers in Calgary and Edmonton will receive the first dose of the vaccine on Dec. 16.

She said that due to the high volume of COVID-19 cases in those cities, workers there will be the main priority with the initial rollout. Edmonton and Calgary have 82 per cent of the COVID-19 cases in Alberta.

“We know that health care workers across the province have been working very hard to support their patients,” she said.

“The very first doses will be allocated to Edmonton and Calgary because that is where we have the greatest number of active cases and the greatest pressure on our acute care system and the long term care and designated supported care living outbreaks that have been the largest with the greatest number of deaths.”

Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro said that 3,900 doses of the vaccine are going to be made available on Dec. 16 and Alberta Health Services will select the workers who will receive it.

The Central zone has 1,480 active cases of COVID-19, with 55 people in hospital and five in the ICU. So far, 23 people in the region have died from the virus.

Hinshaw added that they don’t yet have a date as to when the next round of doses will be available for other health care workers across the province.

“We are working very hard with the federal government to make plans for when subsequent doses of the vaccine might be available and we anticipate being able to roll out the vaccine to other places in the province as soon as more doses arrive,” she said.

Alberta added another 1,566 cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours and the province now has 20,163 active cases. There were 13 new deaths and 666 people have died from the virus since the beginning of the pandemic. The province completed 16,793 COVID-19 tests on Dec. 9 and the test positivity rate is nine per cent.

Red Deer now has 386 active cases of COVID-19 and Red Deer County has 98 active. Lacombe County has 64 active and Lacombe has 45 active. Sylvan Lake sits at 61 active cases and Olds has 30 active. Mountain View County has 27 active and Kneehill County has 13.

Camrose has 92 active and Camrose County sits at 36 active. Clearwater County has 75 active and Drumheller has 17 active.

The County of Wetaskiwin, Wetaskiwin and Ponoka County combined have 244 active cases of COVID-19.

In schools, there are active alerts or outbreaks in 432 schools, about 28 per cent of all schools in the province. These schools have a combined total of 1,789 active cases. That includes 113 schools on the watch list.

Hinshaw added that with the holiday season fast approaching, she knows Albertans are disappointed with the new COVID-19 measures.

“In a year filled with so many sacrifices, it seems unfair to ask for more,” she said.

“As social gatherings are a leading cause of transmission, this is our only option. I have been inspired by the creativity, sense of community and perseverance, I’ve seen as people across our province embrace the reality of our situation and plan to make the most of it.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A judge has found an Edmonton woman guilty of manslaughter in the death of her five-year-old daughter. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton mother found guilty of manslaughter in death of 5-year-old girl

The woman was charged and pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and assault with weapons, including a belt and a spatula

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Alberta identifies 2,042 new COVID-19 cases Saturday

Central zone has 2,917 active cases

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Jason Kenney urges federal government to push U.S. for surplus COVID-19 vaccines

‘It makes no sense for our neighbours and regional states to be sitting on doses that we cannot use,’ the premier said

Alberta reported an additional 1,980 cases of COVID-19 Friday. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer adds 37th death from COVID-19, active cases drop

Alberta Health identified an additional 1,980 cases of the virus province-wide

Manluk Centre: Wetaskiwin Regional Aquatics and Fitness will be closed to the public until further notice beginning May 10, 2021. Image/ City of Wetaskiwin.
Manluk Centre to close following new provincial restrictions

The Manluk Centre will be closed to the public until further notice beginning May 10, 2021.

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

Jennifer Coffman, owner of Truffle Pigs in Field, B.C., poses beside her business sign on Thursday, May 6, 2021, in this handout photo. Her restaurant and lodge have been hit hard by a closure of a section of the Trans-Canada Highway and by the British Columbia government discouraging Alberta residents from visiting during the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Jennifer Coffman, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘Why we survive’: B.C. boundary towns struggle without Albertans during pandemic

Jennifer Coffman’s restaurant is located in the tiny community of Field, which relies on tourism

A rodeo south of Bowden drew a huge crowd on May 1 and 2, 2021. (Photo courtesy Mom’s Diner’s Facebook page)
Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Big truck semi trailer moves on the highway towards sunset
Alberta’s cross-border truckers to be vaccinated at Montana rest stop

2,000 Alberta truck drivers who transport goods across the border will be able to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in Montana

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

People line up outside an immunization clinic to get their Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Edmonton, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Hospital investigating whether Alberta woman who died after AstraZeneca shot was turned away

Woman was taken off life support 12 days after getting vaccine

Most Read