Alberta reported 1,263 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday — a near-doubling of the number of positive cases identified one day earlier — and another 26 deaths, including two men in their 20s and 30s.
The jump in new cases was a sobering reminder of warnings issued this week by government and health officials that dips in new cases can't be taken as evidence that the fourth wave is getting under control.
The new cases were detected on 15,400 tests done in the previous 24 hours. The positivity rate was 8.27 per cent.
The total number of active cases in Alberta is 18,912, which is a slight decline from the previous day. Similarly, the number of hospitalizations also saw a marginal drop: 1,083 Albertans are hospitalized with COVID-19, including 252 who are in intensive care.
At a news conference this week, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney along with Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the chief medical officer of health, pleaded with Albertans to abide by current restrictions on social gatherings and make efforts to minimize contact with other people during the upcoming Thanksgiving long weekend.
"The fact that we've made some progress in so far avoiding a worst-case scenario and seeing some encouraging modest trends in the right direction by no means suggests that we are out of the woods," Kenney told a news conference.
While the majority of the 26 new deaths occurred in Albertans aged 60 and up, the new deaths also included a Calgary man in his 20s and an Edmonton man in his 30s.
In total, 2,804 Albertans have died of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.
Here's how active cases break down regionally:
Edmonton zone: 4,455
Calgary zone: 4,629
North zone: 3,801
Central zone: 3,955
South zone: 2,054
Currently, 75.2 per cent of eligible Albertans are fully vaccinated with two vaccine doses, while 84.6 per cent of eligible Albertans have received at least one dose. Sixty-four per cent of Alberta's total population has been fully vaccinated.