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Alberta identifies 139 new COVID-19 cases, province dips below 4,500 active cases

Summary

Alberta identifies 139 new cases of COVID-19 on 3,443 tests -- a positivity rate of roughly 4.2 per cent.

Hospitalizations dip to 336, with 85 people in the ICU. An additional three deaths were reported Tuesday.

Over 36,000 vaccines were administered over the last day.

EDMONTON — Alberta reported 139 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday following the completion of 3,443 tests.

The province’s positivity rate over the last day was roughly 4.2 per cent.

“There are currently 4,431 active cases in the province,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw on Tuesday. “That’s the lowest (active case count) we’ve seen since March 9. That’s over 20,000 fewer active cases than we had just one month ago. What’s more, our positivity rate has averaged 4.5 per cent over the last seven days. That’s a sharp drop from the average of 11.7 per cent in early May.”

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

As for hospitalizations, there are 336 people in hospital, with 85 people in the ICU.

An additional three deaths were also reported on Tuesday.

Hinshaw says the province’s numbers are promising and continue to get better each day.

“Last week the R-value for the province was 0.74. This includes 0.75 in the Edmonton Zone, 0.73 in the Calgary Zone, and 0.73 for the rest of the province. These are great numbers, signs that our efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 are working.”

She says the province also continues to screen all cases for variants of concern, and knows there are some questions surrounding the Delta variant.

“This variant is not new to our province, we identified our first case in a sample taken on April 8,” she said. “Since then we have identified 193 cases of this B.1.617 (variant), which was originally identified in India. The majority are most likely the substrain B.1.617.2. We also know that B.C. and other provinces are seeing cases of this variant, even as their overall numbers continue to fall. Right now, AHS has identified 16 cases of this particular variant in patients on two units at the Foothills Medical Center. Four health care workers have also tested positive. These are two separate outbreaks and most cases are experiencing mild COVID-19 symptoms. It appears that all but one case are hospital-acquired, so cases were in hospital for other reasons before their infections.”

RELATED: COVID-19 variant outbreak at Foothills Hospital

Hinshaw says there have been no new cases in one of the two units since May 20.

As for vaccinations in Alberta, there were 36,276 vaccines administered in the province over the last day.

In total, there have now been more than 3.12 million vaccines administered in Alberta to date, with 67 per cent of the eligible population vaccinated with at least one dose.