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Wednesday’s new cases came from 14,807 tests, representing an 8.7 per cent positivity rate.
After a sustained decline in positivity rates beginning at the start of December, rates have ticked back up in recent days. The past three days represent the three highest positivity rates logged in Alberta since Dec. 18. The 1,287 new cases Wednesday is the highest single-day count in Alberta in more than a week.
Also Wednesday, Alberta reported another 18 deaths from COVID-19. Of those, six were recorded in the Alberta Health Services Calgary zone, four of which were linked to outbreaks at continuing-care centres operated by AgeCare.
In December alone, 466 Albertans have died of COVID-19 — nearly half of the province’s toll of 1,046 deaths from the virus. It’s the province’s deadliest month of the pandemic to date.
As well, hospitalization rates in Alberta continued to rise Wednesday, with 921 now admitted for care, an increase of 31 from Tuesday. Of those patients, 152 are in ICUs, a decrease of one.
Alberta also now has 14,555 active cases of the coronavirus, a decline from Tuesday and the province’s lowest total in more than a month.
Elsewhere Wednesday, Alberta administered the first doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to long-term care residents.
In a tweet, Premier Jason Kenney said a Medicine Hat woman was the first recipient of the Moderna vaccine. Long-term care residents in Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer and St. Paul also received the first dose of the vaccine Wednesday.