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Alberta identifies 1,542 new variant cases of COVID-19

Last Updated Apr 26, 2021 at 5:08 pm MDT

In this illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Public Health officials in Prince Edward Island are reporting two new cases of COVID-19 today. THE CANADIAN PRESS/CDC via AP, File

1,542 new variant cases reported Monday, with 1,495 cases of COVID-19 identified.

Hospitalizations increase to 616, with 145 people now in the ICU.

Vaccine eligibility increased to include meat plant workers and those born between 2006 and 2009 with health conditions.

EDMONTON (660 NEWS) — The province identified 1,542 new variant cases of COVID-19 on Monday.

It comes the same day as 1,495 new cases of the virus were reported in Alberta.

Numbers reported Monday caused momentary confusion for some, but the province says the variant case numbers identified come from more than one day.

Variant cases now represent 64 per cent of all active cases in Alberta.

Of the new variant cases reported, 1,518 are the B.1.1.7 strain, and 24 are the P.1 variant.

Hospitalizations continue to rise with 616 people now in hospital, and 145 in the ICU.

Seven new deaths were reported Monday.

As for vaccinations in Alberta, 20,515 vaccines were administered in the province in the last 24 hours. Currently, over 1.4 million doses have been administered in Alberta, with nearly 275,000 Albertans fully immunized.

Roughly 25 per cent of Albertans have received at least one dose of vaccine to date.

These numbers will only continue to rise with Premier Jason Kenney and Health Minister Tyler Shandro announcing expanded eligibility for the province’s vaccine rollout that will include meat plant workers and Albertans born between, and including 2006 and 2009 with underlying health conditions.

RELATED: Province to prioritize meat plant workers in next phase of vaccine rollout

The expansion for both groups will begin on Tuesday.

“These are young folks who are turning 12, 13, 14, and 15 this year, with the conditions that we previously opened up to those who are 16 and older in Phase 2B,” Shandro said. “This includes conditions such as chronic heart, lung, liver, or kidney disease, severe learning or developmental delays, and those who have been diagnosed with cancer in the last year.”