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Alberta’s COVID-19 positivity rate rises to 8% Friday as 1,100 new cases identified

Alberta Health issued a basic summary of the COVID-19 situation on Good Friday, saying lab tests had identified 1,100 new cases in the last 24 hours.

Roughly 13,300 tests were conducted, putting the province’s positivity rate at about eight per cent, Dr. Deena Hinshaw said in a message on Twitter.

Out of the 1,100 new cases identified, 300 were variants of concern, which means 33 per cent of total active cases are now variants. That number was 13 per cent last week, Premier Jason Kenney said on Thursday.

“We’ve gone from 13 per cent to 33 per cent of the cases made up of this more virulent and more lethal variant of the disease,” Kenney said April 1.

“It’s only a matter of time before it becomes the dominant COVID strain in Alberta.”

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Alberta’s chief medical officer of health said the hospitalization rate due to COVID-19 “remains stable” but did not provide an exact number on Friday.

As of Thursday, there were 292 people in hospital, 59 of whom were in intensive care.

Click to play video: ‘The virus is winning’: Kenney says short supply of COVID-19 vaccine fueling spike in cases

Over the last two weeks, the number of cases involving variants of concern has jumped in Alberta.

On March 17, 50 (out of a total of 479 new COVID-19 cases) were identified. On March 24, 202 out of 692 new daily cases were variants. And, on April 1, 322 of 875 new daily cases were variants.

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The province said 15,000 vaccine doses were administered on April 1.

More than 675,000 doses have been given in Alberta so far.

Click to play video: Top doctor urges Albertans to stay safe as COVID-19 variants jump ahead of long weekend

Alberta is currently in Phase 2B of its vaccine rollout.

Albertans born 2005 to 1957 (16 to 64 years old) with eligible high-risk underlying health conditions are eligible in this phase. For a list of qualifying health conditions, click here.

However, not everyone can book right away. Bookings open by birth year. More years and locations are being added as supply increases.

Click to play video: Variants could make 3rd wave the worst yet: new COVID-19 modelling

Participating pharmacies in Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer are now booking eligible Albertans born between 1957 and 1963.

Starting on April 5, AHS online and 811 will be booking eligible Albertans born between 1957 to 1959.

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Alberta doctors seek changes to COVID-19 vaccine dosing schedule for certain patients

Stronger public health measures remain in effect in Alberta, including a ban on indoor social gatherings with anyone outside your household.

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