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Zero cases of seasonal influenza reported in Alberta; 705 new variant cases of COVID-19 identified

Last Updated Apr 14, 2021 at 6:40 am MDT

Summary

Zero cases of seasonal influenza reported in Alberta

Over the last day, 1,081 new cases of COVID-19 were identified

705 variant cases reported in Alberta on Tuesday

EDMONTON (660 NEWS) — As the seasonal influenza season comes to an end, Dr. Deena Hinshaw has reported the province saw no cases of the seasonal flu this year.

“I know some may wonder if it’s because we didn’t test as much, but actually the opposite is true,” said Hinshaw. “More than 122,000 respiratory swabs were tested specifically for influenza, compared to less than 47,000 at this time last year.”

Hinshaw says this year was record-breaking for the uptake in influenza vaccine with more than 1.6 million being administered, the highest uptake seen in over ten years.

WATCH: Dr. Deena Hinshaw provides the latest update on COVID-19 in Alberta.

Hinshaw says this falls in line with data from around the world indicating that influenza activity has been lower than expected.

“We know that public health restrictions currently in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as enhanced hygiene, and physical distancing, have had an impact and provided protection against the spread of influenza.”

She says this is a prime example of the power of our collective actions.

As for Tuesday’s COVID-19 update, the province identified 1,081 new cases with 705 new variant cases identified.

Variant cases now make up over 52 per cent of all active cases in Alberta.

Since Monday, hospitalizations have risen to 402, a 12 person increase from the day prior, with 88 people now in the ICU.

Three additional deaths were also reported on Tuesday.

There are now active alerts or outbreaks in 453 schools in the province, representing 19 per cent of all schools in Alberta.

At least one of those schools are in Athabasca County, where an outbreak was declared following a children’s birthday party.

RELATED: ‘A 100 per cent infection rate’: Premier Kenney using Athabasca County party as example for restrictions

Premier Jason Kenney discussing that outbreak earlier Tuesday, saying it’s believed all who attended the party got sick with COVID-19.

The county continues to be the hardest hit spot in the province, and one of the hardest hit in all of Canada with 1,667 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people.

Hinshaw indirectly using the birthday party as an example Tuesday, saying outbreaks at these schools are generally not linked to any single cause but rather linked to social gatherings outside school, rather than transmission in classrooms.

“This reinforces the importance of following the measures in place, not only during school hours but before and after them as well.”

During question period, Hinshaw was asked about protests over the weekend and her take on those who feel ill will towards government and health officials in the province.

She says all 4.4 million Albertans are fighting the same fight, with many having lost things that were important to them and it’s understandable to feel anger. But she added its important to choose how we use that anger and choose how to respond to the emotions.

“The individuals who are choosing to protest do not speak for the majority of Albertans.”

When asked multiple times about her own safety in regards to the protests, Hinshaw continued to reinforce the fact that the pandemic is “not about her” and is about everyone working together.