Alberta reports 356 new COVID-19 cases, 3 new deaths Friday

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Friday was the first day children aged five to 11 were able to be immunized against COVID-19 in Alberta. (Leah Hennel/Alberta Health Services - image credit)
Friday was the first day children aged five to 11 were able to be immunized against COVID-19 in Alberta. (Leah Hennel/Alberta Health Services - image credit)

Alberta public health officials reported 356 new COVID-19 cases and three new deaths Friday.

Two of the people who died were women — one was in her 70s, another in her 80s — and the other was a man in his 60s, according to Alberta Health Services. They each died earlier this week.

The three deaths push Alberta's total COVID-19 death count to 3,235.

The new cases reported Friday were detected through 8,701 completed PCR tests. The test-positivity rate is 4.18 per cent.

There are now 5,017 known active COVID-19 cases in Alberta, an increase of 48 cases since Thursday's update. Here's how active cases break down regionally:

  • Calgary zone: 1,874

  • Edmonton zone: 1,163

  • North zone: 852

  • Central zone: 716

  • South zone: 409

  • Unknown: 3

There are 455 people being treated for COVID-19 in hospital, including 90 patients in intensive care units.

This is a significant drop from one month ago, when there were 836 people in hospital with COVID, including 183 in ICU.

As of end-of-day Thursday, 83.6 per cent of Albertans aged 12 and up have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine; 88.6 per cent have at least one dose.

Of Alberta's total population — which includes those not eligible for a vaccine — 71.1 per cent have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

Friday marked the first day children aged five to 11 in Alberta could receive a COVID-19 vaccine. That demographic is not represented in the latest vaccine data update, but will be included in Monday's update.

No cases of omicron variant in Alberta: Hinshaw

A new variant strain of the novel coronavirus called B.1.1.529 — or the omicron variant — has been labelled as a variant of concern by the World Health Organization. The variant, which was first identified in South Africa, has a high number of mutations and is believed to be more transmissible.

There are no known cases of the omicron variant in Alberta, or Canada, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, said on Twitter Friday.

"I want to reassure Albertans that our genetic sequencing program here in Alberta can detect mutations of the virus, including this new strain (B.1.1.529)," Hinshaw said.

The omicron variant, however, stresses the importance of getting vaccinated against COVID-19, she added. A complete series of vaccination, historically, offers a higher level of protection from severe outcomes, even from new variant strains.

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