COVID-19 virus (file photo).

COVID-19 virus (file photo).

Alberta reports growing number of COVID variants

Red Deer has 276 active case of the coronavirus

A growing number of cases of the quicker spreading, more lethal U.K. virus variant are being found in Alberta — with about half not linked to travel outside the country.

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw said on Monday 25 additional cases of the virus mutation first identified in the United Kingdom have been found in the province. This brings the total to 96.

Of these, 46 cases were found not to be linked to travel, so presumably were spread within the province.

Hinshaw said screening for new variants is done for every positive COVID-19 case in Alberta.

Scientists believe the U.K. variant spreads up to 70 per cent faster than others, and that it could be about 30 per cent more deadly. For instance, if 1,000 60-year-olds were infected with the old variant, 10 might be expected to die. But this could rise to 13 deaths with the new variant.

Fortunately, Hinshaw said there’s been no spread of this virus mutation found in schools.

The province relaxed some rules to make it easier for students to participate in sports activities.

The mental health benefits of exercise are being recognized, said Hinshaw — but she warned that masking and physical distancing rules must still be followed.

A maximum of 10 players, including a coach, are being allowed to gather at one time.

“I want to stress to parents, players, trainers and coaches that it’s vital that every public health measure be followed at all times” to reduce viral spread, said Hinshaw.

Outbreaks of COVID-19 virus are reported in 313 schools around the province, she said. This amounts of 13 per cent of all Alberta schools. The combined total is 844 school viral cases since classes resumed on Jan. 11.

Alberta announced an additional 269 COVID-19 cases Monday.

The province now sits at 6,196 active cases of the virus, with 119,130 people recovered. There are 432 people in hospital, including 76 in intensive care.

There were also five additional deaths in the province over the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 1,710 since the start of the pandemic.

Central Zone sits at 689 active cases, with 8,461 recovered. There are 33 people in hospital, including four in the ICU.

Red Deer now has 276 active cases of COVID-19.

Red Deer County sits at 27 active cases and Lacombe County has 21 active.

Sylvan Lake has 28 active, Lacombe has 34 active, Olds has two active and Drumheller has 12 active.

Mountain View County sits at eight active, Kneehill County has one active and Clearwater County has 34 active.

The County of Stettler has six active, and Camrose County sit at 128 active.

Camrose has 29 active and Wetaskiwin has 26 active cases.

On the local geographic area setting, Wetaskiwin County, including Maskwacis has 118 active cases of the virus. Ponoka County, including East Ponoka County has 12 active. Rimbey, which includes West Ponoka County and parts of Lacombe County has one active case.

So far, 120,000 doses of the vaccine against COVID-19 were administered in Alberta. Hinshaw said 29,000 Albertans have received the full two doses.



lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta Health reported two new COVID-19 deaths in Red Deer Friday. (Image courtesy CDC)
Two more deaths linked to Olymel outbreak in Red Deer

Province reported 356 additional COVID-19 cases Friday

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta’s budget promises more help for COVID-19 with a hard deficit

Annual spending on debt interest is closing in on $3 billion

Alberta reported an additional 399 cases of COVID-19 Thursday, on 9,217 tests, for a test positivity rate of 4.3 per cent. (Image courtesy CDC)
Red Deer down to 562 active COVID-19 cases

8 new COVID-19 deaths, 399 additional COVID-19 cases

(File photo/Lauren Collins Vana)
Ponoka cat owners have until July 1, 2021 to purchase licenses

Town council passed new Animal Control Bylaw Feb. 23

City of Red Deer has nearly doubled its active COVID-19 case count since Feb. 10 and has 75.6 per cent of the Central zone’s active cases. (File photo)
Another new high: Red Deer hits 574 active COVID-19 cases

Province reports 13 new COVID-19 deaths, 430 new cases

Bookings for COVID-19 vaccines for people age 75 or older start Wednesday. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Updated: Delays for seniors booking for vaccine appointments

By 9:20 a.m. Wednesday, 4,500 seniors had booked their appointments

A helicopter flies past a mountain near McBride, B.C., on Saturday January 30, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Avalanche warning for backcountry users in North and South Rockies

Avalanche Canada is urging backcountry users to always check their regional avalanche forecasts

Supporters pray outside court in Stony Plain, Alta., on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, as a trial date was set for Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church. He is charged with holding Sunday services in violation of Alberta’s COVID-19 rules and with breaking conditions of his bail release. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Trial date for jailed Alberta pastor charged with breaking COVID-19 health orders

The court says it will reconvene with lawyers on March 5 for a case management plan by teleconference

A pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
Canada approves use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

The country joins more than a dozen others in giving the shot the green light

Emily Keeping of Wetaskiwin, Alta., was last seen at 4:20 p.m. on Feb. 25, 2021 at the FasGas on 49 St and 50 Ave in Wetaskiwin. Supplied/ Wetaskiwin RCMP.
UPDATE: Wetaskiwin RCMP seek assistance in locating missing 11-year-old

Emily Keeping was last seen on Feb. 25, 2021 at the FasGas on 49 St and 50 Ave in Wetaskiwin.

Sylvan Lake's Winter Village lured many visitors to the town this winter. The town has launched a new contest to attract a new business.
(Black Press file photo)
Sylvan Lake offering rent-free storefront space to lure new businesses

Winning business proposal will get a storefront space rent-free for a year

Alberta premier Jason Kenney, right and Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, provide details about Bill 13, the Alberta Senate Election Act., in Edmonton Alta, on Wednesday June 26, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Minister Doug Schweitzer talks on Enhanced COVID-19 Business Benefit

Provincial government rolling out new benefit this April to better help small businesses.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP will not trigger election as long as pandemic continues: Singh

‘“We will vote to keep the government going’

Mike Ammeter (Photo by Rebecca Hadfield)
Sylvan Lake man elected chair of Canadian Canola Growers Association

Mike Ammeter is a local farmer located near the Town of Sylvan Lake

Most Read