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Two new cases of P.1 variant identified in Alberta, 465 cases of COVID-19 reported

FILE - This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which cause COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. Viruses are constantly mutating, with coronavirus variants circulating around the globe. (NIAID-RML via AP)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) — After a several hours delay in the reporting of Tuesday’s COVID-19 numbers due to technical issues, the province released the new data which showed another concerning rise in variant cases.

An additional two cases of the P.1 variant, first identified in Brazil, were reported in Alberta. The two cases join 195 new cases of the B.1.1.7 variant identified over the last 24 hours.

Since Monday, 465 total cases of COVID-19 have been recorded, including three additional deaths.

Hospitalizations were the benchmark for moving into Step 3 of the province’s reopening plan, with less than 300 being the goal for moving forward.

On Monday, Health Minister Tyler Shandro said the province made the decision not to move forward yet as the province sees and upward trend in hospitalizations.

READ MORE: Cineplex CEO calls COVID-19 cinema closures in Alberta ‘devastating’ for employees

In just the last seven days, the province has seen over 30 more people in hospital, with Shandro saying the current trend shows over 300 people in hospital in the next week.

On the vaccine front, 497,280 doses of vaccine have now been administered in the province.

The next update from the province is expected to take place Wednesday afternoon.