Alberta records 556 new cases of COVID-19 and 99 new variant cases

A total of 556 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the last 24 hours, according to the Alberta government’s daily update.

The number of active cases around the province has now risen to 5,618. There are now 279 people in hospital due to COVID-19 in Alberta, and of that group 47 people are in intensive care.

There were 9,979 COVID-19 tests administered in the last 24 hours in Alberta.

Friday marked the first day since Nov. 22 with no additional deaths recorded as a result of COVID-19. On Saturday, four more deaths were reported in the province.

The four additional deaths include two men in their 70s and a man in his 80s in the Edmonton zone, and a woman in her 60s in Alberta’s south zone.

A total of 1,961 people have died from COVID-19 in Alberta as of Saturday.

Here is a regional breakdown of active cases across Alberta:

  • Calgary zone: 2,296
  • Edmonton zone: 1,310
  • Central zone: 534
  • South zone: 724
  • North zone: 735
  • Unknown: 19

The province also recorded 99 new cases of COVID-19 variants. All of these new cases were the B117 variant first identified in the U.K. 

There were 759 active COVID-19 variant cases in Alberta as of Saturday, 13.5 per cent of the total number of active cases.

Monday will mark three weeks since Alberta moved to Step 2 of its reopening plan, and is the earliest date the province can move further 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 auditoria)
  • Museums, art galleries, zoos, interpretive centres
  • Places of worship

To move to Step 3, the province has said the number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 must be lower than 300 and declining.

Premier Jason Kenney said Thursday a final decision on moving forward has not been made.

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