Alberta reports 717 new cases of COVID-19, 325 variant cases

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Alberta reported 717 new cases of COVID-19 Friday and three new deaths from the disease. (The Canadian Press/NIAID-RML via AP - image credit)
Alberta reported 717 new cases of COVID-19 Friday and three new deaths from the disease. (The Canadian Press/NIAID-RML via AP - image credit)

Alberta reported 325 COVID-19 cases identified as variants of concern on Friday, setting a new daily high for the province.

The province reported 717 new cases of COVID-19 — the second straight day that new infections exceeded 700.

Labs completed 13,308 tests for COVID-19 Thursday, with a positivity rate of 5.4 per cent.

All of the variant cases reported Friday were the highly infectious B117 variant first detected in the U.K. The total number of active variant cases stands at 1,654, or about 23.4 per cent of active cases.

Alberta also reported three more deaths from the virus, bringing the total to 1,979.

Across the province, 284 people were being treated in hospital for the disease, including 59 in intensive care beds.

As of Friday, the province has 7,077 active cases of COVID-19, the highest number since January. The regional breakdown of those active cases is:

  • Calgary zone: 3,246

  • Edmonton zone: 1,552

  • South zone: 799

  • North zone: 798

  • Central zone: 654

  • Unknown: 28

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province's chief medical officer of health, reminded Albertans to be vigilant and follow health measures as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

"During spring break, I urge everyone to be extra careful and limit in-person interactions as much as possible," she said Friday in a Twitter post. "Indoor visits are still not allowed. Variant cases are still rising and can spread easily when we let our guard down."

COVID-19 vaccinations continue to ramp up as the province administered more than 26,000 doses on Thursday. So far, Alberta has administered 558,763 doses of COVID-19, including 94,947 Albertans who are fully immunized with two doses.