The City of Red Deer sits at 249 active cases of the virus, after hitting a peak of 565 active cases on Feb. 22. (Black Press file image)

Alberta adds 556 COVID-19 cases Saturday

Red Deer has 111 active cases

The Government of Alberta identified 556 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday.

There are currently 5,618 active cases of the virus in the province, to go along with the 133,800 recovered cases. The government also reported four new deaths, bringing the provincial death toll to 1,961.

Red Deer has 111 active cases, according to geospatial mapping on the provincial government’s website.

When looking at the geospatial mapping 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.

With that setting, Red Deer County has 17 active cases, Sylvan Lake has 18, the City of Lacombe has 37, Lacombe County has 42, Clearwater County has 26, Mountain View County has 12, Olds has nine and Stettler County has six.

On the local geographic area setting, Wetaskiwin County, including Maskwacis, has 53 active cases. Ponoka, including east Ponoka County, has 83 active cases and Rimbey, including west Ponoka County and parts of Lacombe County, has 19.

Overall the central zone has 534 active cases of the virus.

Provincially, 279 people are currently hospitalized by COVID-19 – 47 of those individuals have been admitted into an intensive care unit. In the central zone, 33 are hospitalized, with six of those individuals in an ICU.

On Saturday, Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said after thorough reviews, Health Canada, the European Medicine Agency and others have all found the AstraZeneca vaccine is not associated with an increased overall risk of all blood clots.

“Only 25 of 20 million people who received AstraZeneca reported the issues that created these concerns. These involved specific types of rare blood clots: seven reports of clots in multiple blood vessels and 18 of a blood clot in the brain, mainly occurring in patients under 50,” Hinshaw tweeted Saturday afternoon.

The European Medicine Agency is looking closely at these patients to see what happened and whether the AstraZeneca vaccine might be linked, she added.

“Even if these very rare events are found to be linked to AstraZeneca, an unvaccinated person in AB between age 20-49 would have, on average, a 500 times higher risk of dying from COVID-19 after testing positive than having one of these rare types of blood clots after immunization,” said Hinshaw.

“Health Canada has been clear: the benefits of the AstraZeneca/COVIShield vaccine in protecting Albertans from COVID-19 continue to far outweigh the risks. I want to assure everyone that Canada has a robust surveillance system in place to protect you.”

As of Friday, 452,690 doses of vaccine have been administered in Alberta.



sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

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