Alberta reports 452 new COVID-19 cases, in-person classes resume Tuesday

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Two weeks after learning moved online, most Alberta schools will be back in the classroom Tuesday.  (Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty Images - image credit)
Two weeks after learning moved online, most Alberta schools will be back in the classroom Tuesday. (Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty Images - image credit)

Alberta's active case count continued its downward trend Monday as schools across the province prepared for a return to in-person classes.

Albera reported 452 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday. The province shed 925 active cases, bringing the total to 13,608.

Hospitalizations dropped to 569, 12 fewer than Sunday, with 161 people receiving treatment in intensive care. The province reported seven COVID-19 deaths on Monday.

Another 23,378 vaccine doses were administered Sunday, with just over 57 per cent of Albertans 12 and older now having received their first dose.

Here is how active cases breakdown by health zone:

  • Calgary zone: 5,853

  • Edmonton zone: 3,361

  • Central zone: 1,489

  • South zone: 728

  • North zone: 2,165

  • Unknown: 12

All kindergarten to Grade 12 classes will return to in-person classes on Tuesday, with the exception of schools in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo that will stay home for at least one more week.

The government moved all classes online May 7 as school divisions struggled to keep classes staffed with teachers, with about 12 per cent of staff across Alberta in self-isolation due to a possible exposure, Education Minister Adriana LaGrange said at the time.

That move was one in a slate of tougher public health restrictions introduced by Premier Jason Kenney earlier this month to curb what was then North America's highest case rate. He said the restrictions would be in place for at least two weeks.

Now two weeks later, Kenney hinted on Twitter Monday that an announcement was coming this week. His office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Experts have warned an aggressive reopening could derail the hard-won progress gained over the past weeks, potentially sending Alberta into a fourth wave before the rate of vaccinations can beat out a renewed spike in the rate of transmission.

"My concern of course now at this point is to open up too aggressively and to undo all the work that we've done with some of the strongest measures we've had in the pandemic so far," said Dr. Shazma Mithani, an Edmonton emergency room physician.

The province reported a 8.8 per cent positivity rate Sunday for 5,085 COVID-19 tests.

Alberta's rate of active cases per 100,000 people, which surpassed 500 earlier this month, sat at 307.

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