The Government of Alberta is reporting two more COVID-19-related deaths in Red Deer.
The city now has a total of 33 virus-related deaths, according to geospatial mapping on the provincial government’s website. The number of active cases in Red Deer on Sunday was down to 108 – seven fewer cases than Saturday.
Including the two Red Deer deaths, six new deaths were reported in the province, said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health.
The province identified 388 new COVID-19 cases Sunday. There are 4,697 active cases in the province, to go along with the 131,781 recovered cases.
Alberta’s first confirmed cases of the P.1 variant, which was first first detected in Brazil, was also identified Sunday. These confirmed cases are both travel-related and were detected through the “aggressive screening processes” in place, said Hinshaw.
“Our labs are screening every positive case for variants of concern to help identify them as quickly as possible. In addition, we also do full genetic sequencing on about 400 cases a week,” Hinshaw said.
“These cases are already isolating. Anyone at risk is being contacted by our dedicated variant contact tracing team and will be offered testing twice.
“I know any new variant cases can create anxiety but remember we are working hard to prevent their spread. These variants are spread by close contact and measures that protect you from other strains – distancing, masking, washing hands – will also protect you from this variant.”
When looking at the province’s geospatial mapping for COVID-19 cases on the municipality setting, regions are defined by metropolitan areas, cities, urban service areas, rural areas and towns with approximately 10,000 or more people; smaller regions are incorporated into the corresponding rural area.
In that setting, Red Deer County has 18 active COVID-19 cases, Sylvan Lake has 13, Clearwater County has 31, Lacombe County has 30, the City of Lacombe has 21, Mountain View County has 18, Olds has 10 and Stettler County has six.
In the local geographic area setting, Wetaskiwin County, including Maskwacis, has 43 active cases. Ponoka, including east Ponoka County, has 37 active.
Rimbey, including west Ponoka County and partial Lacombe County, has 21 active cases.
The central zone has 452 active cases, while the Calgary zone has 1,738, the Edmonton zone has 1,154, the north zone has 797 and the south zone has 545. The locations of 11 active cases are currently unknown.
Provincially, 248 people are currently in hospital due to the virus, with 38 of those individuals in an intensive care unit. The central zone has 24 hospitalizations, with five of those individuals in an ICU.
Alberta Health Services announced more than 53,000 eligible Albertans have booked an appointment to receive the Covishield/AstraZeneca vaccine, meaning there are now fewer than 5,000.
As of 4 p.m. Sunday, online bookings for this vaccine are closed. Albertans can only book appointments through HealthLink at 811.
There are Covishield/AstraZeneca appointments available throughout the province, particularly in central, north, and southern Alberta.
AHS is encouraging those currently eligible – Albertans born between 1957-61 (inclusive), and First Nations, Inuit and Métis born between 1972-76 (inclusive) – to book now.