Everything you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Friday, May 21

The latest on restrictions:

  • Alberta has announced new COVID-19 quarantine rules: Fully vaccinated Albertans no longer have to quarantine if they are exposed to COVID-19 and are not showing symptoms.
  • And people who have had one shot can have their isolation time reduced.
  • Almost all Alberta K-12 students are to return to classrooms next week with the exception of students in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, which includes Fort McMurray, who will stay home one more week.
  • George McGuigan, superintendent of the Fort McMurray Catholic Schools, said the extra week gives his community a reprieve amid the high number of COVID-19 cases. 
  • Several organizations that run summer camps for kids in southern Alberta — including YMCA’s Camp Chief Hector, Easter Seals Camp Horizon, and Kids Cancer Care’s Camp Kindle — are cancelling this year’s overnight offerings as the province continues to grapple with the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The City of Calgary says it won’t create a voter list for candidates in a decision that appears aimed at protecting the privacy of voters. The move comes after reports last week that a mayoral candidate, Kevin J. Johnston, was attempting to track down addresses of Alberta Health Services employees and threatening to show up at their homes armed. 
  • Johnston, who is running in this fall’s municipal election, was allegedly in violation of a court order when he attended illegal gatherings Saturday, where people were violating public health laws to protest COVID-19-related restrictions.
  • In another arrest of another higher profile person accused of repeatedly and flagrantly violating public health laws, Pastor Tim Stephens was arrested for organizing a church service in violation of public health rules at Fairview Baptist Church in Calgary.
  • And Ty and Gail Northcott, organizers of a rodeo earlier this month near Bowden, Alta., to protest provincial COVID-19 restrictions, pleaded not guilty on Monday to violating Alberta’s Public Health Act by holding the event. They have vowed to hold more.
  • AHS says one positive case of COVID-19 has now been directly linked to the rodeo.
  • The government introduced a bundle of tougher public-health restrictions again on May 4, to slow the spread of COVID-19 — measures Kenney said were needed to keep the health-care system from being overwhelmed.
  • The new public health measures apply to all parts of Alberta except those with fewer than 50 cases per 100,000 people. 
  • The full list of current restrictions is available on the province’s website.

The latest on vaccines:

  • 2,312,821 vaccine doses have been administered in Alberta as of May 19, including Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca-Oxford. 
  • 365 adverse events following immunization have been reported.
  • The Alberta government says more than half of Albertans eligible for the vaccine — currently those age 12 and older— had been vaccinated with at least one dose as of Tuesday, May 18. Overall, including those who aren’t yet eligible like younger children, 43.4 per cent of Alberta’s population has received at least one dose.
  • 335,482 Albertans are fully immunized (two doses) — 7.5 per cent of the population.
  • A pop-up vaccination clinic in Calgary is reaching out to people who may be falling through the cracks. The Calgary Alpha House Society has partnered with Alberta Health and Safeworks to provide vaccinations for their clients, and anyone experiencing homelessness. The clinic will run twice a week until June.
  • Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, says people who got their first dose of vaccine outside of the province can get a second dose in Alberta with proof of vaccination, which will be entered into their health records.
  • Canadians looking to drive across the border to the United States for the sole purpose of getting a COVID-19 vaccine are not exempt from mandatory quarantine upon their return. In a statement late Wednesday, the Public Health Agency of Canada said quarantine exemptions now in place are not intended for those travelling abroad to get vaccinated against the coronavirus disease. Earlier this week, Albertans who attended a Montana vaccination clinic were told they were exempted from having to quarantine for 14 days.

Watch | Alberta education minister, Opposition address plan to return students to classrooms:

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw say it’s safe for students to head back to the classroom, but NDP education critic Sarah Hoffman says the province is just setting students up for another yo-yo cycle. 2:24

The latest COVID-19 numbers:

  • Alberta reported 812 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday and four more deaths. 
  • There were 17,675 active cases. Alberta continues to have the highest active-case rate — in other words, active cases per 100,000 people — of all provinces and territories in Canada.
  • The rate of active cases was 398 per 100,000 people in Alberta. 
  • The test positivity rate was 9.3 per cent.
  • There were 665 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 177 people in intensive care
  • There have now been 2,162 COVID deaths
  • 202,442 Albertans have recovered from COVID-19. 
  • The latest R-value reported for the province was 0.84, meaning the virus is spreading to less than one person for each confirmed case.
  • Three of Calgary’s four adult hospitals are once again dealing with a number of COVID-19 outbreaks. The outbreaks are driven by the variant first discovered in the U.K. Rockyview General Hospital has three impacted units including four patients and one healthcare worker. An outbreak at Peter Lougheed Centre involves one patient. And Foothills Medical Centre has two units on outbreak including four patients.
  • Shoppers Drug Mart says it is now offering rapid antigen COVID-19 tests for asymptomatic people at all its pharmacies in Ontario and Alberta. The tests have to be purchased.

(Note the latest daily count of new cases in the above chart will usually vary slightly from the net new cases Alberta Health announces each day. For more on why, click here.)

See which regions are being hit hardest:

Here is the detailed regional breakdown of active cases as reported by the province on Thursday.

  • Calgary zone: 8,132 active cases, down from 8,683 active cases reported on Wednesday (81,511 recovered).
  • Edmonton zone: 4,195 down from 4,446 (70,202 recovered).
  • North zone: 2,657 down from 2,780 (22,180 recovered).
  • South zone: 871 down from 925 (10,976 recovered).
  • Central zone: 1,814 down from 1,978 (17,555 recovered).
  • Unknown: 24, up from 19 (18 recovered).

You can see active cases by local health area on the following interactive map. Scroll, zoom and click on the map for more information:

Find out which neighbourhoods or communities have the most cases, how hard people of different ages have been hit, the ages of people in hospital, how Alberta compares to other provinces and more in: Here are the latest COVID-19 statistics for Alberta — and what they mean.

Here are the latest Alberta COVID-19 stories:

How Alberta compares to other provinces and territories:

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