Alberta reports 639 new COVID-19 cases, nearly 50K vaccines administered

EDMONTON — Alberta’s active COVID-19 case count continues to fall as its vaccination numbers go up.

The province reported on Monday 639 new cases amongst roughly 9,800 tests conducted the previous day. Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said that left Alberta with a positivity rate of 6.1 per cent.

She also reported 23 more deaths, bringing the province’s death tally to 1,307.

There are 811 Albertans in hospital with COVID-19; 130 of whom are in ICU.  

These numbers, the top doctor noted, underscore the importance of Alberta’s vaccine program.

Premier Jason Kenney joined the Monday news conference to announce the province was likely to soon surpass 50,000 vaccine doses administered – or three-quarters of its supply.

Throughout the first days of the new year, Alberta has averaged about 8,300 vaccinations per day.

“By the end of January, I’m confident that we’ll have the capacity to administer about 50,000 doses per week, and we’ll continue to increase our capacity partly by partnering with pharmacies across the province,” Kenney said.

“Our stretch goal is, for the end of March, to be able to vaccinate up to 200,000 people per week.”

He added the plan was contingent on Ottawa securing and distributing more doses to the provinces.

Kenney said Alberta would run out of its current supply within a week.

The government officials also announced that afternoon the vaccine would be offered to an expanded list of health care workers, including paramedics and emergency medical responders.

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Alberta’s premier and health minister will join Dr. Deena Hinshaw for the Monday afternoon pandemic briefing.

The chief medical officer of health, Jason Kenney and Tyler Shandro are scheduled to speak at 3:30 p.m.

The province will have administered 45,000 vaccines by Monday, or about 1,017.5 per population of 100,000.

In this phase of distribution, vaccines are being offered to respiratory therapists; workers in ICUs, long-term care, supportive living, and emergency departments; home care workers; and long-term care and supportive living residents.

Alberta reported 811 cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing its total active case count to more than 14,000.

Nearly 800 Albertans are in hospital with the disease, 128 of whom are in intensive care units.

Watch the officials speak live on CTVNewsEdmonton.ca.

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