One day before the earliest time that the province can reconsider moving to the next step of its reopening plan, Alberta reported 555 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday.
Alberta also reported 184 new cases of COVID-19 variants, the highest single day increase in variant cases yet recorded in Alberta. All of these new variant cases were the B117 variant first identified in the U.K.
There are now 908 active COVID-19 variant cases in Alberta, making up 15.2 per cent of the 5,971 active cases across the province.
Two additional deaths as a result of COVID-19 were also reported on Sunday. According to the province, they include a man in his 90s whose death is linked to an outbreak at Rosedale Estates and a woman in her 60s whose death is linked to an outbreak at Churchill Manor, both in Edmonton.
On Monday, three weeks will have passed since Alberta moved to Step 2 of its reopening plan. This means it is the earliest date the government can move ahead to Step 3.
Step 3 eases restrictions in areas including:
- Adult team sports
- Casinos, racing centres and bingo halls
- Further easing of youth sport and recreation activities
- Indoor social gatherings, with restrictions
- Indoor seated events (movie theatres and auditoriums)
- Museums, art galleries, zoos, interpretive centres
- Places of worship
The primary marker that the Alberta government is using to gauge whether to move ahead to further steps of this plan is hospitalizations. To move to Step 3, the province says the number of people in hospital due to COVID-19 must be lower than 300 and declining.
There were 282 people in hospital across the province on Sunday, including 47 in intensive care. It marks a small increase of three over Saturday’s total.
The new cases reported on Sunday in Alberta were discovered from 11,405 COVID-19 tests administered in the last 24 hours.
Here is a regional breakdown of active cases across Alberta:
- Calgary zone: 2,465
- Edmonton zone: 1,374
- Central zone: 575
- South zone: 762
- North zone: 778
- Unknown: 17