Alberta reports 1,633 new COVID-19 cases, 2 more deaths on Sunday

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.

Read more: Alberta tourist destinations prepare for another uncertain season amid COVID-19

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.

Read more: Alberta businesses brace for 3rd round of COVID-19 restrictions, closures

Story continues below advertisement

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.

Click to play video: 'Edmonton pediatricians encourage parents to vaccinate children as Alberta expands rollout' Edmonton pediatricians encourage parents to vaccinate children as Alberta expands rollout

Edmonton pediatricians encourage parents to vaccinate children as Alberta expands rollout

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.

Story continues below advertisement

According to the government, 35.2 per cent of the population has received at least one dose.

Supporters dance during a rally against provincial measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 at the Whistle Stop Café in Mirror, Alta., on Saturday, May 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

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.”

Read more: COVID-19: Pre-emptive injunction granted against planned protest by Whistle Stop Café operator

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.

Story continues below advertisement

In addition to discussing the order “at length,” police said they served and posted copies of it at Saturday’s rally.

Chris Scott, owner of the Whistle Stop Café, speaks during a rally against measures taken by government and health authorities to curb the spread of COVID-19 at his café in Mirror, Alta., on Saturday, May 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

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.

Read more: COVID-19: Calgary police arrest 2 church service organizers for violating new court order

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.

Story continues below advertisement

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.

Read more: Calgary mayor says anti-mask rallies are ‘thinly veiled white nationalist’ protests

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.

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: Calgary’s Fairview Baptist Church holds services despite tightened restrictions' COVID-19: Calgary’s Fairview Baptist Church holds services despite tightened restrictions

COVID-19: Calgary’s Fairview Baptist Church holds services despite tightened restrictions

Police added that multiple protests occurred without incident over the weekend.

Story continues below advertisement

“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.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

View Source