NDP calls on Alberta government to step up amid rising COVID-19 cases

Alberta’s Opposition health critic is urging the provincial government to do more to curb COVID-19 daily case numbers not seen since the spring.

New Democrat David Shepherd says new infection rates are up 43 per cent over the last week and active cases are up 55 per cent.

Read more: COVID-19 hospitalizations rise as Alberta confirms 817 new cases Thursday

The province on Thursday reported 817 new infections — the highest daily count since mid-May.

On Friday, Alberta added an additional 749 cases.

(Click here for full Friday COVID-19 numbers)

Shepherd says the province’s inoculation efforts are beginning to stall and the United Conservative Party government should make vaccines readily available to everyone.

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Click to play video: 'Experts weigh in on how to boost Alberta’s sluggish COVID-19 vaccination rates' Experts weigh in on how to boost Alberta’s sluggish COVID-19 vaccination rates

Experts weigh in on how to boost Alberta’s sluggish COVID-19 vaccination rates

He says mobile vaccination clinics should be in areas where Albertans gather, such as supermarkets, malls, parks and festival grounds.

Shepherd also says the government should release internal modelling that it says supported its decision to eliminate almost all remaining public health measures.

“We know the (Jason) Kenney government has modelling data that gives them an idea of what the coming weeks will look like, but they are intentionally hiding this information from Albertans and that is unacceptable,” he said.

Friday COVID-19 numbers

Alberta confirmed an additional 749 cases of COVID-19 on Friday from about 9,000 tests. The provincial positivity rate sat at 8.32 per cent.

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There were 221 people in hospital with COVID-19 on Friday, up from 198 Albertans in hospital on Thursday. Of those, 48 people were receiving care in the ICU for COVID-19, up five from the day before.

Read more: Concerns raised over University of Alberta request for volunteers at COVID-19 rapid testing clinics

One additional coronavirus-related death was reported.

There were 6,709 active cases of COVID-19 across the province. Of those, 2,189 were in the Calgary zone, there were 2,005 in the Edmonton zone, the Central zone had 587, there were 912 in the South zone and 994 active cases were reported in the North zone.

There were 22 active cases of COVID-19 in Alberta not attributed to a specific zone.

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As of Friday, the province has administered 5,477,098 doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Of eligible Albertans 12 and up, 77.2 per cent have received at least one dose, while 68.5 per cent of eligible residents are fully vaccinated.

Since March 2020, 242,997 have contracted COVID-19. Of those, 233,945 people have recovered.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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