COVID-19: 16 new variant cases identified in Alberta

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Alberta recorded 380 new cases of COVID-19, including 16 new cases of the so-called U.K. variant.

There are 336 people hospitalized with the illness across the province, 51 of whom were in intensive care.

The provincial test positivity rate Saturday was 4.5 per cent.

Active cases fell slightly, to 4,803.

Seven additional deaths were attributed to COVID Saturday, including a woman in her 30s in the Edmonton zone.

A total of 269 Alberta cases have been linked to more transmissible mutations of the COVID-19 virus. The vast majority (262) of those were the B.1.1.7 (U.K.) variant. Only seven cases of the South African variant have been identified in the province.

The Alberta government eased some of its COVID restrictions earlier this month in response to declining COVID hospitalizations, after the second wave that began in the fall and continued through the holiday season.

Gyms and dine-in restaurants were allowed to open with restrictions Feb. 8.

Since the start of the pandemic, 130,735 Albertans have fallen ill with COVID, 1,818 of whom have died.

Meanwhile, several hundred people gathered at the Alberta legislature to protest the pandemic restrictions. Dozens of Edmonton police and peace officers also responded and stood in two lines to keep the peace between the anti-mask protesters and a smaller counter-protest.

— With files from Greg Southam

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