Alberta reports fifth-highest new case total Wednesday, nears record high in active cases

EDMONTON — Alberta recorded its fifth-largest daily increase in new cases on Wednesday as the province reported 1,839 new infections. 

The jump is the largest since the one reported on Dec 3.

Alberta’s 20,938 active cases are just below the highpoint set Dec.14 near the peak of the second wave. Four of the province’s 10 highest active case counts have been recorded this month, including three of the top five.

Variants continue to drive the province’s case count with 1058 new cases reported, 949 of them the B.1.1.7 variant first found in the U.K.

Variants now make up 63 per cent of the province’s active cases, and 81 Albertans have died due to a COVID-19 variant case.

Also on Wednesday, Alberta’s death toll rose by six to 2,073. There are now 643 COVID-19 patients in Alberta hospitals, including 145 in intensive care units. 

Test positivity remained high, with a 9.85 per cent positivity rate based on just under 19,000 tests. Alberta’s daily test positivity has exceeded nine per cent every day since April 13.

The number of Albertans who have been vaccinated continues to grow with the province having administered 1,497,256 doses of vaccine as of the end of Tuesday. That figure includes 288,595 second doses. 

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, is scheduled to give another in-person update later this week. 

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