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Everything you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Tuesday, December 21

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Calgary·THE LAST

Alberta is implementing restrictions on visitors to hospitals and continuing care facilities to limit transmission of COVID-19 as the Omicron variant spreads.

Alberta Reports 1,925 New COVID-19 Cases, 6 More Deaths in 3 Days

Alberta is implementing restrictions on visitors to hospitals and continuing care facilities to limit transmission of COVID-19 as the Omicron variant spreads. (AHS)

The latest COVID-19 figures:

  • The Government of Alberta reported on Monday:
    • There was 1,925 new cases of COVID over the weekend.
    • 5 652 total number of active cases, compared to 4,431 on Friday. Calgary again leads the province in total number of cases, nearly twice as much as second-placed Edmonton.
    • 324 people with COVID are in hospital, of which 69 in intensive care.
    • Six new deaths.

  • When it comes to the Omicron worrying variant, as of December 20:
    • The total number of Omicron cases in Alberta climbed to 1,045 from 173 on December 17.
    • About half of the variant cases – 613 – are in the Calgary area.

WATCH | What is the Omicron variant? Infectious disease expert Craig Jenne simplifies what the variant is:

What is the Omicron variant?

Infectious disease expert Craig Jenne is simplifying what the variant is and what it means for the final round of our battle against COVID. 5:00

  • Since the start of the pandemic, a total of 3 292 Albertans have is dead of COVID.
  • 334,004 Albertans have restored.
  • There are active alerts or outbreaks in 169 schools.
  • Confirmed cases of the Omicron variant have been reported in three schools managed by the Calgary Board of Education (CBE), the organization announced on Dec. 16.
  • The Calgary Catholic School District has two confirmed cases of Omicron, each at a different school.
  • On December 19, the University of Calgary – citing the increase in Omicron cases – canceled the remainder of in-person exams for the semester. The university also said all non-mandatory in-person activities will be moved online from January 3-7 and encouraged everyone to work remotely until January 9.
  • Province-wide, the R value from November 29 to December 12 was 0.96, with a confidence interval between 0.92 and 1.01. An R value less than 1.0 means that the transmission is no longer increasing.
  • The R-value for the Edmonton area is 0.99 and for Calgary it is 0.96. In the rest of Alberta, the rate is 0.93.

The latest in restrictions, quick tests and more:

  • Alberta is implementing visit restrictions in hospitals and continuing care facilities to limit transmission of COVID-19 as the Omicron variant spreads.
  • Visitors and designated support persons who have close contact with or have one at home with someone with COVID-19 not be able to access continuing care or acute care sites for 14 days from the date of the last exhibition.
  • Alberta Health Services say this applies even to people who are fully immune.
  • Alberta has had a restriction exemption program, a voluntary vaccination passport system, in place since September 20 after suffering a catastrophic fourth wave of COVID-19. A complete list of restrictions and exemptions is available on the government website.
  • Premier Jason Kenney said on December 15 that the province relax restrictions on private social gatherings, removing the rule that only people from two households can meet indoors.
    • Social gatherings can now include people from any household, but groups must not exceed 10 people. Albertans under the age of 18 do not count towards this count.
    • The requirement that everyone present at social meetings in the hall be fully vaccinated is also abandoned.
  • Effective December 17, the Government of Alberta made free plug– rapid home COVID-19 antigen test cases available for home use on a first come, first served basis while supplies last:
    • The kits are intended for people without symptoms of COVID-19. Those with symptoms should stay home, self-isolate, and book a PCR test through Alberta Health Services.
    • There is a limit of one box per person within 14 days and each box contains five tests because it takes time for people’s bodies to develop enough protein from the virus that causes COVID-19 after being exposed.
    • In Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer, the test kits are available at participating pharmacies.
    • The province has over half a million kits to distribute.
    • Rapid test kits should also be made available in more schools and for vulnerable populations.
    • Elsewhere, they were to be available on Alberta Health Services websites.
    • At the start of the deployment, there were reports of long queues and kits running in some locations.
    • Two million more tests will be distributed over the next few days, the Government of Alberta told CBC News on Monday.
    • He said he expects a million more tests – or 200,000 kits – with shipping dates confirmed later in December.
    • The government has said it hopes to receive 10 million tests per month by January.

WATCH: How to perform the rapid antigen test:

How to use a take-home COVID-19 test kit

As the province releases rapid at-home COVID-19 test kits, Edmonton pharmacist Shivali Sharma shows CBC’s Pippa Reed how to use one correctly. 1:51

The latest news on vaccines:

  • As of December 20, Alberta ranked second lowest among all provinces and territories in terms of the percentage of people who received at least one dose and the percentage of people who received two doses of one. Vaccine against covid19:
    • 72 percent of the province’s total population – or 76.5 percent of eligible Albertans (aged five and over) – received two doses a COVID-19 vaccine.
    • 78.2 percent of the province’s total population and 83 percent of those five years and older received at least dose, according to The CBC vaccine tracker.
    • This compares with 82 percent the total population across Canada who have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 76.3% of the total population that has been fully vaccinated. Of those eligible across the country, 86.2% have received a dose, and 80.3% are fully vaccinated.

  • Kenney announced on December 15 that all Albertans 50 and over – as well as all healthcare workers – were immediately eligible to obtain an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine recall, provided at least six months have passed since their second dose.
  • People who have received two doses of AstraZeneca or a dose of the Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccine may also be boosted from an mRNA vaccine, if they have not previously received a dose of mRNA for travel purposes, and provided they are at least six months have passed since their second dose.
    • Eligible individuals can make an appointment for the third dose online with participating pharmacies or AHSs using the Alberta Vaccine Reservation System.
    • Albertans can also call 811, participating pharmacies or participating physician offices.

Find out which regions are hardest hit:

here is last detailed regional breakdown active cases, as reported by the province on December 20:

  • Calgary area: 2 924.
  • Edmonton area: 1630.
  • Central zone: 492.
  • North Zone: 380.
  • South zone: 212.
  • Unknown: 14.

Here are the latest COVID-19 stories from Alberta:

The latest updates on COVID-19 in Alberta in tabular and graphical form:










With files from CBC Sports

|Corrections and clarifications