COVID-19: downward trends continue as Alberta starts May long weekend


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New COVID cases and test positivity rates continue to fall in Alberta as the province’s vaccination campaign sets new records.

On Saturday, chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced 621 new cases of COVID-19, down from 732 the day before. The test positivity rate sat at 6.7 per cent on 9,500 tests, down from 7.4 per cent Friday.

There were 617 people in hospital for COVID-19 including 164 in ICU. Hinshaw also reported six new deaths related to the illness.

With the exception of deaths, all those numbers were down from last Saturday.

On May 15, Hinshaw reported 1,195 new cases on 13,000 tests, a positivity rate of 9.6 per cent. There were 686 people hospitalized with COVID that day, 178 of whom were in intensive care.

Total active cases fell from over 22,000 to 15,502 in that span. Of those, 3,729 were in the Edmonton zone, 6,964 in Calgary, 2,375 in the North zone, 1,627 in the Central zone and 803 in southern Alberta.

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Alberta’s R value currently sits at .84, which indicates transmission is decreasing. The R-value measures the number of people an infected person will spread the illness to on average.

On the vaccine front, 2.46 million doses had been administered in Alberta as of Friday, meaning 47.3 per cent of the population have had at least one shot. Nearly eight per cent of the population is fully vaccinated.

Alberta reported a record-setting 89,111 new vaccinations Friday.

As of Saturday, 2,170 deaths in Alberta have been linked to COVID-19.