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Alberta records 513 new COVID-19 cases, nearly 60% of Albertans aged 12 and over now partially vaccinated

Last Updated May 27, 2021 at 7:47 pm MDT

Summary

Alberta identifies 513 new COVID-19 cases -- positivity rate over the last day stands at 6.1 per cent.

Hospitalizations drop to 538, with 150 people in the ICU.

Alberta likely to hit 60 per cent of those 12 and older vaccinated sometime on Thursday.

EDMONTON — Alberta has identified 513 new cases of COVID-19 following the completion of 9,017 tests.

The province’s positivity rate over the last day was 6.1 per cent.

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

There are now 10,017 active cases of COVID-19 in Alberta.

Hospitalizations saw another day of declining numbers, with 538 people now in hospital, and 150 people in the ICU.

One additional death, a woman in her 50s from the Calgary Zone, was reported.

As for vaccine numbers, the province administered nearly 35,000 doses over the last 24 hours.

More than 50 per cent of all Albertans have now received at least one dose, with 59.9 per cent of those 12 and older having been at least partially vaccinated.

The province is likely to hit 60 per cent of those 12 and older vaccinated sometime on Thursday, which would kickstart the two-week timer for the province to head into Stage 2 of its “Open For Summer” plan.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw provided an update on a change to eligibility for early second doses for those who are at risk of not having a protective response after their first dose.

“There is evidence for those on regular dialysis for kidney disease have lower responses to vaccine, so we will be adding this group to the list of those who can call Health Link to receive a second dose of vaccine 21 to 28 days after their first,” she said.

While Hinshaw was not at Wednesday’s COVID-19 update, she took time to provide clarity on how she, and her team, put together Alberta’s “Open For Summer” plan.

“We looked closely at the evidence seen in other countries, including Hungary, Israel, the U.K., and several U.S. states, as well as other Canadian provinces that had announced their opening plans,” she said.

Hinshaw says Alberta’s plan is a much more cautious plan than one seen in neighbouring provinces.

“It was our recommendation that the plan focus on the percentage of all Albertans 12 and over who have the vaccine, instead of just the percentage of adults with a first dose as some other jurisdictions have done,” Hinshaw said.

She adds the 70 per cent threshold set by the province for the removal of most mandatory public health restrictions maximizes the protection that Alberta will have before significant reopening takes place.

Hinshaw was asked about the two week benchmark, and how it makes sense, when it’s been said in the past that it takes two weeks to see the impacts restrictions make.

“We wanted to make sure that between hitting one trigger and then moving to that particular opening stage there was a full two weeks so that people were achieving a level of protection, we know when people first receive their immunization they don’t have a significant level of protection in the few days following that, we know that we start to see a difference in the protection  that vaccine offers at that two week mark, and so it was important to make sure that when we hit those metrics, we weren’t moving immediately to opening up our measures.”