Everything you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Sunday, Aug. 15

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Alberta reported 582 new COVID-19 cases on Friday. Alberta public health measures set to expire on Monday will remain in place for another six weeks.

Province extends some COVID-19 public health measures until Sept. 27

There were 4,438 active cases across Alberta on Friday, an increase of 337 from the previous data update. (AHS)

The latest COVID-19 numbers

  • Alberta reported 582 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday.
  • There were 4,438 active cases across Alberta, an increase of 337 from the previous data update.
  • There were 152 people being treated in hospital for COVID in Alberta. Of those, 37 were in intensive care units.
  • The positivity rate was 6.17 per cent.
  • One more death was reported. There have been a total of 2,332 deaths.
  • The R-value, which represents the number of people infected by each infected person, was 1.25 (with a confidence interval of 1.2-1.31) as of Monday. 
  • 232,169 Albertans are considered to have recovered from COVID-19.
  • A spike in cases in Medicine Hat has Alberta Health Services reminding citizens to continue to protect themselves against COVID-19. Over the past three weeks, cases have jumped from under 10 to 242.
  • The number of cases linked to the Calgary Stampede continues to grow. As of Wednesday, 129 people were confirmed to have caught COVID-19 at the 10-day festival, which ended on July 18. That’s up from 84 cases a week earlier. Two of those people have been hospitalized.
  • Alberta Health said 325 people attended the Stampede during their incubation period for the disease, but that many attended other activities during that period — meaning that number doesn’t translate to cases acquired at the festival. 

(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.)

The latest on restrictions and reopenings:

  • Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, announced Friday that public health measures set to expire on Monday will remain in place for another six weeks. 
  • Measures that will remain in place until Sept. 27 include:
    • Mandatory masking orders in publicly accessible transit, taxis and ride-shares. This includes school buses.
    • Mandatory isolation for 10 days for those with COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test result.
    • Testing at assessment centres for any symptomatic individual.
  • Previously Hinshaw has defended the province’s plan to lift all of its COVID-19 public health restrictions. She said the decision was made after her team reviewed data on age-specific outcomes related to COVID-19, vaccine effectiveness and modelling on transmission of the Delta variant and related health outcomes.
  • Hinshaw also announced Friday that back-to-school guidelines, will not mandate in-class masks. However she said school officials have the authority to put in local measures, like physical distancing, if they see fit.
  • The province had been relaxing the remaining restrictions in what was billed as a two-phased approach
  • As of Thursday, July 29, the following changes went into effect:
    • Quarantine for close contacts is no longer mandatory but recommended. 
    • Contact tracers no longer notify close contacts. Contact tracers will continue to investigate high-risk settings like continuing care facilities. 
    • Asymptomatic testing is no longer recommended. 
  • The U.S. land border will remain closed to non-essential travel until at least Aug. 21, according to a renewal order issued by the American government. The U.S. government said while vaccination rates have improved, opening the land border to non-essential travel still poses too high a risk.
  • Ottawa says starting Aug. 9 at 12:01 a.m. ET fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents living in that country will be able to visit Canada without having to quarantine for two weeks.
  • The government said it plans to allow fully vaccinated travellers from all other countries to enter Canada without quarantine on Sept. 7.
  • Canadians and permanent residents who are fully vaccinated will need to show documents proving they received doses of vaccines approved in Canada at least 14 days prior to entering the country.
  • Officials said travellers must electronically submit COVID-19-related information to the government’s ArriveCAN app before arriving, meet the pre- and on-arrival test requirements, be asymptomatic and have a suitable quarantine plan.

The latest on vaccines:

  • 57.4 per cent of all Albertans are fully vaccinated against COVID, and 65.2 per cent have received at least one dose (or 76.7 per cent of those eligible). 
  • Starting Sept. 7, temporary COVID-19 vaccine clinics will be set up in schools for students in grades 7 to 12 and for teachers and staff. 
  • Nationally, 71.7 per cent of the total population have received at least one dose. In Ontario, that figure is 71.6 per cent, and in Quebec it’s 73.9 per cent.
  • The federal government will soon require that all public servants be vaccinated — a mandate that will also be implemented by Crown corporations and other federally regulated businesses in the coming weeks.
  • Starting soon, all commercial air travellers and passengers on interprovincial trains and large marine vessels with overnight accommodations (such as cruise ships) will have to be vaccinated. Accommodations will be made for “those few who are unable to be vaccinated,” such as testing and screening.
  • Alberta provincial data indicates that, from July 1 to Aug. 9, roughly 69 per cent of the COVID-19 infections were among unvaccinated people, compared with 19 per cent who were partially vaccinated and 12 per cent who were fully vaccinated.
  • Among people hospitalized for COVID, 77.4 per cent were unvaccinated, 13.8 per cent were partially vaccinated and 8.6 per cent were fully inoculated. 
  • And among people being treated in ICU for COVID, 85.3 per cent were unvaccinated and only about seven per cent were fully or partially vaccinated. 
  • Matt Wolf, executive director of issues management for Premier Jason Kenney, noted that “breakthrough” infections of fully vaccinated people leading to serious illness are generally among elderly Albertans with underlying health problems.
  • “Bottom line: vaccinations have been highly effective in Alberta at preventing infection and serious illness,” he said.

See which regions are being hit hardest:

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

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

  • Calgary zone: 1,790.
  • Edmonton zone: 1,063.
  • South zone: 639.
  • North zone: 623.
  • Central zone: 313.
  • Unknown: 10.

Here are the latest Alberta COVID-19 stories:

With files from The Canadian Press

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