Alberta Health confirmed 1,633 new COVID-19 cases and two additional deaths from the disease on Sunday.
Both deaths had comorbidities: a man in his 50s in the Calgary zone and a man in his 60s in the Central zone.
On Sunday, Alberta identified 411 variant cases of COVID-19. Alberta Health Services has shifted away from screening all positive cases for variants of concern, targeting variant screening on populations highest at risk.
The province has 25,197 active cases, 181,483 recoveries and 2,110 deaths. Variant cases comprised at least 44.5 per cent of active cases Sunday.
As of Sunday, the Calgary zone has 11,312 active cases, the Edmonton zone has 5,917, the North zone has 3,749, the Central zone has 2,844 and the South zone has 1,333. There are 42 cases in unknown zones.
The new cases came from 15,509 tests, which means a provincial positivity rate of 10.3 per cent, according to Dr. Deena Hinshaw.
Alberta Health said 668 people are in hospital, with 155 of them in intensive care — up from 661 people in hospital and 148 ICU patients on Saturday.
The province said 1,889,039 vaccine doses were administered as of May 8 — an increase of more than 42,000 from the day before — and 316,357 Albertans are fully immunized, which is about 1,800 more than Saturday.
According to the government, 35.2 per cent of the population has received at least one dose.
Organizer arrested at café protest
After Saturday’s protest at the Whistle Stop Café in Mirror, Alta., RCMP said they issued Public Health Act tickets and arrested the organizer of the “illegal public gathering” under the Court of Queen’s Bench Order, which gives officers the authority to “arrest and/or remove those who are organizing, promoting and/or attending.”
The protest was organized after Alberta Health Services and RCMP physically closed the café and prevented access to the building on Wednesday. The move came after owner Chris Scott was served multiple closure orders, which he ignored.
In addition to discussing the order “at length,” police said they served and posted copies of it at Saturday’s rally.
Mounties said they are still gathering information about the event.
Calgary police and the court order
The Calgary Police Service said Sunday that over the weekend, they served four people and made two arrests in relation to breaches of the Court of Queen’s Bench Order recently obtained by Alberta Health Services.
The order states that all COVID-19 public health measures must be followed for gatherings — including protests, demonstrations, rallies and illegal indoor events — and has an enforcement clause that gives police the power to arrest organizers and promotors of events that violate restrictions.
Police said they served the court order to two organizers of a church service to ensure that people attending the Saturday service were following current COVID-19 public health orders. The organizers were arrested.
Officers said a third person who also attended the service was served with the order later on Saturday. They were not arrested but the investigation continues.
On Sunday, police said they served another organizer of an illegal gathering that was in violation of the court order. No arrests were made, and the investigation continues.
Police added that multiple protests occurred without incident over the weekend.
“No tickets were issued by CPS at the events but tickets may be issued after the fact dependent on evidence gathered at the time,” police said in a news release.
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