Alberta Health reports single-day high of 2,433 new COVID-19 cases

Alberta recorded the highest single-day total of new COVID-19 cases Saturday since the start of the pandemic at 2,433 and one additional death from the disease.

With about 20,457 tests completed, Alberta’s positivity rate was at 12 per cent Saturday.

The active case count now stands at 22,504 across Alberta. Of the active cases across the province, 9,423 are in the Calgary zone, 6,065 are in the Edmonton zone, 3,233 are in the North zone, 2,542 are in the Central zone, 1,165 are in the South zone and 76 are in unknown zones.

Alberta identified 1,743 variant cases of concern on Saturday. Variants now make up 62.1 per cent of active cases of COVID-19 province-wide.

Hospitalizations also continue to increase, with 646 people in hospital with COVID-19 Friday. Of those, 152 are being treated in intensive care.

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The reported death was a man in his 70s in the Edmonton zone. Alberta Health said the case had comorbidities.

Alberta has now administered 1,597,666 doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

READ MORE: COVID-19 vaccinations for meat-plant workers, youths with underlying conditions to start Tuesday

On Saturday, the province announced a change with how parents and guardians of eligible children can book COVID-19 vaccine appointments.

Last week, the province announced children born between 2006 and 2009 with underlying health conditions were eligible for a Pfizer vaccine.

On Saturday morning, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw tweeted that a note from a doctor would no longer be required for eligible children to book an appointment, which was previously the case.

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Hinshaw said the change was made based on feedback from parents, family doctors and pediatricians.

On April 23, the province approved the Pfizer vaccine for children 12-15 years old with health conditions that put them at great risk for severe outcomes if they were to be infected with COVID-19.

READ MORE: Anyone 50+ can book COVID-19 vaccine Friday as Alberta expands eligibility

Click to play video: 'Alberta expanding COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to rest of Phase 2C and 2D' Alberta expanding COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to rest of Phase 2C and 2D

Alberta expanding COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to rest of Phase 2C and 2D

Alberta is among the first jurisdictions in the world to make this decision. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization has recommended approving Pfizer for teens but Health Canada has yet to do so.

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“National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has stated that youths aged 12-15 with a pre-existing health condition are more at risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 than from a COVID-19 vaccine, and would benefit from getting Pfizer vaccine,” Tom McMillan, a spokesperson for Alberta Health, told Global News in an email.

“Pfizer has submitted safety and efficacy data for this age group to Health Canada with an application to expand the age of licensure.”

READ MORE: 2,007 new COVID-19 cases recorded as targeted Alberta restrictions take effect Friday

Children born between 2006 and 2009 who are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine include those who have cancer, chronic heart disease and chronic kidney disease.

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: Demand overwhelms Alberta vaccine booking system' COVID-19: Demand overwhelms Alberta vaccine booking system

COVID-19: Demand overwhelms Alberta vaccine booking system – Feb 24, 2021

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