COVID-19 Update: Alberta reports 351 new cases, four deaths | School costs expected to keep rising amid variants, delayed vaccines

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Alberta reported an additional 348 cases of COVID-19 from 10,033 tests, representing a 3.5 per cent positivity rate. The rate is below the seven-day average positivity rate of 4.2 per cent.

There are now 457 Albertans in hospital with COVID-19, 84 of whom are in intensive-care units — down from 475 and 89 the previous day, respectively. There are 6,266 active cases of the coronavirus in Alberta, down from 6,407 the previous day.

As well, Alberta reported 12 more deaths from the virus, bringing its total to 1,705. Four of those deaths were in the Alberta Health Services Calgary zone, which has seen a toll of 528 COVID-19 fatalities.

Officials also administered another 2,650 doses of vaccine through end-of-day Friday, bringing Alberta’s total number of jabs given to 116,716. To date, 25,540 Albertans are fully immunized after having received both their first and second dose of vaccine.


Province announces new relaxed restrictions on team sports

DARREN MAKOWICHUK/CALGARY SUN/QMI AGENCY-A rink attendant cleans the ice at the West Hillhurst Community Association as Hockey Calgary cancelled all Minor Hockey games Monday night due to the severe weather conditions as players had the option to still show up and use their ice time for practicing. Monday February 7, 2011.DARREN MAKOWICHUK/QMI AGENCY ORG XMIT: p7Hockey080
A Zamboni clears the ice in this file photo. Photo by DARREN MAKOWICHUK /Postmedia File

In a news release Saturday morning, the province said those under the age of 18 will now be allowed to take part in lessons, practices and other conditioning activities for indoor or outdoor minor-league team sports. Playing games remains banned.

The shift came as a surprise to youth sports groups, who were left out of last week’s provincial announcement of sectors allowed to ease some public-health restrictions.

In Alberta’s announcement last Friday, the province said kids’ sports and performance would only be allowed to resume if related to school activities, like physical education class. One-on-one training was also permitted.

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