Alberta’s chief medical officer of health is scheduled to provide an update on COVID-19 cases, testing, hospitalizations, fatalities and the vaccine rollout on Wednesday afternoon.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw is set to speak at 3:30 p.m. Her comments will be streamed live in this article post.
On Tuesday, the province said it had identified 652 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, out of 9,336 tests. That put Alberta’s positivity rate at about 6.8 per cent.
Alberta Health also announced Tuesday there were 819 people in hospital with COVID-19, with 132 of them in the ICU.
An additional 38 COVID-19 deaths were reported Tuesday, the majority of which involved seniors in long-term care homes. That brings Alberta’s death toll to 1,345.
Hinshaw said Tuesday Alberta’s contact-tracing system is improving and greatly reducing the number of COVID-19 cases with an unknown source.
“We are now able to reach out within 24 hours to all high-priority cases of COVID-19, including those involving school-aged children, health-care workers, long-term care workers and those who are involved in critical response,” Hinshaw said.
The province currently has approximately 1,250 contact tracers working.
Alberta is also ramping up its vaccine rollout, provincial officials say.
In a message on Twitter Wednesday, Health Minister Tyler Shandro said: “Alberta is consistently leading among Canadian provinces for vaccine rollout, with thousands of Albertans vaccinated daily.
“If vaccine doses are available, Alberta is on track to reach 50,000 vaccinations per week by the end of January.”
Alberta Health is also creating a vaccine-specific advertising campaign to “help inform Albertans of why they should get immunized.”
A spokesperson for the ministry said the government will be “taking steps to remind Albertans of the safety and benefits of these vaccines, and to encourage all Albertans to get vaccinated when they’re eligible.”
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