Alberta reports 1,731 new cases of COVID-19, as Kenney slams ‘disturbing’ rodeo event

Premier Jason Kenney slammed a central Alberta rodeo event on Twitter Sunday afternoon, as Alberta reported 1,731 new cases of COVID-19, and three more deaths.

There were 16,567 tests completed on Saturday for a positivity rate of around 10.3 per cent.

Alberta identified another 1,132 variant cases, making up 62 per cent of the province’s new record high of 22,920 active cases. 

On Sunday, there were 648 people being treated for COVID-19 in hospital (a slight increase from 646 people being treated in hospital for the illness on Saturday), including 155 in intensive care unit beds. 

In a thread singling out large numbers of people gathered at a rodeo rally near Bowden, Alta., this weekend, located about 44 kilometres south of Red Deer, Kenney blamed Alberta’s record high daily case counts and intensive care numbers on Albertans ignoring the current rules.

“Not only are gatherings like this a threat to public health, they are a slap in the face to everybody who is observing the rules to keep themselves and their fellow Albertans safe,” Kenney said on Twitter. 

“If we do not begin to bend the curve, our health care system could very well be overwhelmed in a matter of weeks.”

Several responses to Kenney’s post criticized a lack of enforcement of the rules. 

Alberta Health Services says it is considering its legal options in regards to the organizers of the rodeo and said organizers were notified in advance that the rodeo would breach health restrictions if it went ahead.

Of the three deaths reported Sunday, two occurred in the Calgary zone on Friday. The third death involved a man in his 40s in the South zone on Saturday.  

The regional breakdown of active cases on Sunday is:

  • Calgary zone: 9,556
  • Edmonton zone: 6,088
  • North zone:3,308
  • Central zone: 2,677
  • South zone: 1,216
  • Unknown: 75

On Sunday, Alberta reported 1,621,306 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered as of Saturday.

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