Alberta identified 355 additional cases of COVID-19 Tuesday.
The province now has 139,143 confirmed cases of the virus, with 132,415 people recovered and 4,776 active.
There are 260 people in hospital, including 44 in intensive care across the province. There were three new deaths due to COVID-19 in the province reported over the past 24 hours, bringing Alberta’s death toll to 1,952 since the start of the pandemic.
Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw cautioned Albertans to stay vigilant with March break fast approaching.
“I know we are all tired of COVID – tired of the restrictions. The next few months will be absolutely critical. The health measures in place work against variants. It is up to us to keep on following them,” she said.
Day camps are not permitted over spring break or the Easter weekend. She said those will not be allowed until Step 4 of the province’s reopening plan.
“These sorts of activities create a risk of mixing groups and it is extremely difficult to limit the risk of exposure,” Hinshaw said.
Alberta has identified 62 new cases of the COVID-19 variants and the Central zone has 189 cases of the variant, all of the U.K. variety.
There are 509 active cases of COVID-19 variants of concern across the province, making up about 11 per cent of the province’s overall active cases.
“The percentage of variants in our active cases is rising. The toll that variants have taken on the U.K., Italy and other countries are a cautionary tale,” Hinshaw said.
“In some ways, there is a race between the variants and the vaccine. We need to limit the spread of these variants and all other strains of COVID-19, while we work over the next several months to immunize Albertans who are most vulnerable.”
Starting Thursday at 8 a.m., Alberta Health Services will open bookings for the next birth years in the 2A cohort. This includes Albertans born in 1951 and First Nations, Métis and Inuit born in 1966 or earlier.
The Central zone sits at 448 active cases of COVID-19, with 28 people in hospital including five in intensive care. Red Deer moved under 100 active cases of COVID-19, with 93.
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.
With that setting, Red Deer County has 17 active cases of the virus, Lacombe County has 29 active and Clearwater County sits at 31 active.
Lacombe has 29 active and Sylvan Lake has 13 active cases, while Olds sits at 10 active. Mountain View County sits at 15 active, Kneehill County has three active and Drumheller has 75 active.
Camrose County has no active cases and the County of Stettler has six active.
Camrose has one active case and Wetaskiwin has 21 actives.
In the local geographic area setting, Wetaskiwin County, including Maskwacis, has 45 active cases. Ponoka, including east Ponoka County, has 48 active.
Rimbey, including west Ponoka County and partial Lacombe County, has 18 active cases.
Currently, 276 schools, about 11 per cent, are on alert or have outbreaks, with 1,160 cases in total.
One hundred and ninety three schools across the province are on alert, with 380 total cases. Outbreaks have been declared in 83 schools, with a total of 780 cases.
In-school transmission has likely occurred in 205 schools. Of these, 107 have had only one new case occur as a result.