COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

Two additional COVID-19 deaths in Central zone

Province reports additional 1,287 cases Wednesday, Red Deer down to 277 active

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Red Deer as the province reported 1,287 new cases of the virus Wednesday, with 14,555 active cases across Alberta.

More than 100,000 or 1 in 44 Albertans have now tested positive for the virus.

In addition, there were 18 new deaths and 1,046 people have died from the virus since the beginning of the pandemic.

Two of the new deaths were in the Central zone– a woman in her 90s linked to an outbreak at the Westview Care Community in Linden and a man in his 90s linked to an outbreak at the Coronation Hospital and Care Centre.

There are 921 people in hospital, including 152 in the ICU. More than 14,000 COVID-19 tests were completed over the past 24 hours, for a test positivity rate of 8.7 per cent.

The Central zone now sits at 1,430 active cases, down from 1,466 Tuesday. In the zone, 94 people are still in hospital and 12 are in the ICU.

Red Deer saw another dip in cases Wednesday, down to 277 from the 296 that were reported Tuesday. Red Deer County has 81 active cases, Lacombe County has 44 active and Clearwater County sits at 24 active. Mountain View County has 32 active and Kneehill County sits at 13 active.

Sylvan Lake has 35 active cases, Lacombe has 30 and Olds has 32.

Camrose County has 18 active cases of the virus and Camrose has 62.

Wetaskiwin, Ponoka County and The County of Wetaskiwin combined has 593 active cases of COVID-19.

A signal of hope in the fight against COVID-19 arrived for seniors in Red Deer Wednesday.

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine landed in the province Tuesday and was administered to seniors in long-term care and supportive living facilities Wednesday Afternoon.

The first two continuing care residents immunized in Red Deer were Irene Pipke, 86, and Arnold Pipke, 92. The happily married couple are residents of the Hamlets at Red Deer, and are hopeful that their family can get together in August when the couple celebrates their 70th anniversary.

In addition to that celebration, Irene has a few other items she hopes to get done now that she’s received the vaccination.

“I haven’t been shopping since Dec. 14 of 2019 because of weather and COVID, so I’m looking forward to going to the mall when the pandemic is over,” she said.

Arnold added that he was happy to be first in line.

“COVID is scary, so it’s nice to get this done. I sure think everyone should get the vaccine,” he said.