Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 continued to climb in Alberta on Monday as new restrictions came into effect and vaccinations opened to anyone born in 2009 or earlier.
Provincial data updated Monday showed 690 people were in hospital with COVID-19 — including 158 in ICU — and 1,597 new cases were reported after 13,921 tests. Although the number of new cases dipped from Sunday, the percentage of tests coming back positive for COVID-19 was up to around 11.5 per cent from 10.5 per cent. The death toll reached 2,177 after seven more deaths.
The province reported 406 new variant cases, however the government recently scaled back variant testing after saying last month the B.1.1.7 strain has become dominant in Alberta.
The new restrictions, announced last week, require all Alberta restaurants to close patios and offer only takeout or delivery, and personal and wellness services like hair salons and tattoo parlours must close as of Monday.
Fines for breaking health orders have doubled to $2,000 from $1,000, but the most severe violations can see a $100,000 ticket.
Also on Monday, Albertans 12 and older could book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment. Last week, the province expanded eligibility to adults 30 and older.
There were 25,438 active COVID-19 cases in Alberta by Monday, including 5,944 in the Edmonton Zone and 11,312 in the Calgary Zone.
From May 3 to 9, Alberta’s R value — where a rate below one indicates the rate of spread is dropping — was 1.0, with 0.96 for the Edmonton Zone, 1.06 for the Calgary Zone, and 0.94 for the rest of the province.
More to come…