Alberta is nearing 20,000 active COVID-19 cases.
The province reported an additional 1,690 cases of the virus Friday, on 17,562 tests, for a positivity rate 9.6 per cent.
Alberta also added an additional 1,184 variant of concern cases and there are now 11,738 active variant cases, accounting for 60.4 per cent of the province’s 19,446 active cases.
Red Deer also jumped another 20 cases Friday and now has 564 active cases of the virus. The city is nearing its high of 574 active cases reported in February.
Alberta Minister of Health Tyler Shandro said Friday in a press conference that despite COVID-19 cases continuing to rise, no new restrictions are on the way.
“We don’t right now have any options that are recommended to us by Dr. Hinshaw and her office. So, as we continue to look at where there is community transmission and where there is growth and where there are concerns, where further restrictions might be required, we’ll continue to look at that evidence and data,” Shandro said.
“We knew that this was going to be the storm before the calm. That as we went into the transition period as the vaccine rollout continued – we as a province worked incredibly hard in responding quickly to containing the variants.”
Shandro also noted the province was aware there might be a spike in cases following Easter weekend and he believes those are still affecting numbers today.
“We know as we have more vaccines going, the cases will reduce and as the cases reduce, then yes, the hospitalizations will reduce as well. But we do know, we might have concerning case growth, which we know would be a concern with our hospitalizations,” Shandro said.
“The people who are identifying as positive today, this is going back to the Easter long weekend. This is when a lot of people present as being positive, it’s two or three weeks before they actually test positive that there was a transmission.
“We knew that this was going to happen. We made it very public, even after we tightened restrictions that we were going to for two or three weeks, see continued increase in cases.”
There were five additional deaths Friday due to COVID-19 across the province and there have been 2,059 since the start of the pandemic. Overall, there are 549 people in hospital, including 125 in intensive care.
The central zone has 2,035 active cases, with 53 people in hospital and five in intensive care.
When looking at the province’s geospatial mapping for COVID-19 cases on the municipality setting, regions are defined by metropolitan areas, cities, urban service areas, rural areas and towns with approximately 10,000 or more people; smaller regions are incorporated into the corresponding rural area.
With that setting, Red Deer County has 135 active cases of the virus as of Tuesday, Lacombe County has 85 active and Clearwater County sits at 48 active.
Lacombe has 105 active and Sylvan Lake has 56 active cases, while Olds sits at 92 active. Mountain View County sits at 85 active, Kneehill County has 36 active and Drumheller has 19 active.
Camrose County sits at 77 active cases and the County of Stettler has 26.
Camrose is at 143 active cases and Wetaskiwin has 128 active.
On the local geographic area setting, Wetaskiwin County, including Maskwacis has 220 active. Ponoka, including East Ponoka County, has 110 active cases and Rimbey, which includes West Ponoka County and parts of Lacombe County has 22 active.