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Alberta Health investigating COVID-19 outbreak linked to traveller with P.1 variant

Alberta Health is investigating a significant COVID-19 outbreak in the province relating to the P.1 variant, which was first discovered in Brazil.

Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw tweeted Saturday the outbreak was linked to someone returning to the province from a trip.

Hinshaw said health officials are contacting individuals who are at risk of exposure to ensure they are isolated and offered testing.

Alberta Health said the first two cases of the P.1 variant were reported on March 14. There had been six P.1 variant cases identified in the province as of March 31.

READ MORE: Spike in variant COVID-19 cases and possible closures worry some Alberta restaurant owners

As of March 31, there were 2,820 active variants of concern cases in Alberta, which made up 33 per cent of all active cases in the province.

The Calgary zone had 1,292 active variant cases, the Edmonton zone had 792, the Central zone had 283, the South zone had 223, the North zone had 219 and 11 cases were in an unknown zone.

READ MORE: More Alberta families faced with 24-day quarantine due to COVID-19 variants

Alberta Health provided no other details about the outbreak except that officials were continuing to investigate and would provide an update Monday.

On Friday, Alberta reported 1,100 new COVID-19 cases with a positivity rate of eight per cent. It was the first time since early January the province reported over 1,000 cases in one day. Out of the 1,100 new cases identified, 300 were variants of concern.

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