Alberta reported an additional 1,646 COVID-19 Thursday.
That is the highest daily case total of 2021 and the highest since mid-December.
Red Deer jumped from 279 active cases Wednesday to 318 active cases Thursday.
The province now has 16,223 active cases of the virus and completed 17,198 COVID-19 tests, for a test positivity of 9.5 per cent.
Alberta also reported 1,020 new variant of concern cases and variants make up about 54 per cent of active cases in the province.
There are 416 people in hospital across the province, including 86 in intensive care.
Chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw spoke Thursday and tried to dispel concerns about the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Some countries, including Denmark, have suspended use of the AstraZeneca vaccine because of concerns it can cause blood clots. Canada has reported one blood clot case in an AstraZeneca vaccine recipient.
In the U.K., about 20 million doses of that particular vaccine have been given out up until the end of March and 79 blood clotting events were reported.
Hinshaw added they have seen a reduction in the number of people willing to get the AstraZeneca vaccine because of the reports it may cause blood clots in rare instances.
“With all the coverage out there, it can be easy to lose track of how rare these blood clots actually are,” Hinshaw said.
“For anyone infected with COVID-19, they are much more likely to experience a blood clot from Covid – about one in four people hospitalized with Covid get blood clots.
“We don’t yet have enough vaccines for everyone in our population and those who would otherwise have to wait a month or more for Moderna or Pfizer can choose protection now, instead of no protection while our transmission rates rise.”
Alberta is currently only offering the AstraZeneca vaccine to those between the ages of 55-64.
Red Deer added its 36th death Thursday due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There were five new deaths over the past 24 hours and Alberta has reported 2,034 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
The Central zone sits at 1,515 active cases of the virus, with 37 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 83 active cases of the virus, Lacombe County has 72 active and Clearwater County sits at 19 active.
Lacombe has 65 active and Sylvan Lake has 43 active cases, while Olds sits at 57 active. Mountain View County sits at 58 active, Kneehill County has 32 active and Drumheller has 22 active.
Camrose County sits at 73 active cases and the County of Stettler has 13.
Camrose is at 88 active cases and Wetaskiwin has 116 active.
On the local geographic area setting, Wetaskiwin County, including Maskwacis has 215 active. Ponoka, including East Ponoka County, has 124 active cases and Rimbey, which includes West Ponoka County and parts of Lacombe County has 20 active.