As Alberta hit 70 per cent of its eligible population fully vaccinated against COVID-19 vaccine, the virus continues to spread rapidly in the province.
The province announced it had hit the milestone Thursday, shortly before 1,339 new cases of the virus were reported, one of the highest totals of the fourth wave.
Overall, 78 per cent of eligible Albertans have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and more than 5.5 million doses have been administered in the province.
“The best way to protect all Albertans from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated,” said Premier Jason Kenney in a news release.
“It is up to each and every one of us to do all we can to prevent the spread of this virus. Getting vaccinated with two doses is not only the right thing to do, but it protects the people, livelihoods and communities we care about.”
There are now 12,868 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, with 487 people in hospital, including 114 in intensive care. Of the 487 people in hospital, 385 are unvaccinated.
“Vaccines take significant pressure off of our health system by reducing the severity of symptoms for the vast majority of people who are fully immunized,” said Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health in a release.
“The fewer COVID-19 cases we have in hospital, the more Alberta’s medical teams can attend to other health-care needs that continue to affect Albertans.”
The province also reported five new deaths due to the virus Thursday, bringing the COVID-19 death toll in Alberta to 2,388.
In the Central zone, there are 1,351 active cases of COVID-19, with 66 people in hospital, including 11 in the ICU.
According to geospatial mapping on the provincial government’s website, Red Deer now sits at 373 active cases, with 6,372 total cases, 5,957 recovered and 44 deaths.
Red Deer County has 132 active cases, Lacombe County has 121, Mountain View County has 112 and Clearwater County has 97.
Olds has 85, the County of Stettler has 68, Sylvan Lake has 52, Lacombe sits at 49 and Kneehill County has 29. The City of Camrose has 56, Wetaskiwin has 37, and Camrose County has 24. On the local geographic area setting, Wetaskiwin including Maskwacis has 68, while Ponoka, including East Ponoka County has 25. Rimbey, including parts of Lacombe County and West Ponoka County, has 49.