More Albertans get the jab, South Peace continues to lag behind

·2 min read

According to the province, 75 per cent of eligible Albertans are now fully immunized against COVID-19.

That said, vaccination rates remain low in the South Peace.

In the west side of the County of Grande Prairie, 51.3 per cent of those eligible have been vaccinated with their first dose, while 43.8 per cent are fully vaccinated*.

In east county, 55.5 per cent of those eligible have been vaccinated with their first dose, and 46.6 per cent are fully vaccinated*.

The City of Grande Prairie has 56.9 per cent vaccinated (first dose) and 47.7 per cent fully vaccinated*.

Cases of COVID are also on the rise here: 510 active cases in the city and 253 cases in the county*.

On Wednesday, the provincial government announced a third dose of the COVID vaccine will be available to Albertans 75 years and older and First Nations people aged 65 years and older.

A third dose will also be available to people with immunocompromising conditions.

A complete list will be available at alberta.ca/vaccine.

Albertans travelling to an area that does not accept the Covishield/AstraZeneca or mixed doses are also eligible for an additional mRNA dose.

The province also changed the restrictions on outdoor gatherings on Tuesday, bringing down the number of private outdoor social gatherings from 200 to 20.

Schools will also be required to report COVID-19 cases. Alberta Health Services will now be identifying online each school with at least two COVID cases.

Schools with 10 or more cases will be publicly reported within a 14-day period.

Starting next Tuesday, parents will be informed if their child may have been exposed to an infectious COVID-19 case at school.

The province will also be offering a rapid testing program to kindergarten to Grade 6 as vaccines are not yet available to those age groups.

School authorities are being encouraged by the province to implement a proof of vaccination or negative COVID test policy for all adults entering schools, but also noted a school authority cannot deny students access to education due to immunization status.

* as of Oct. 4.

Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News

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