Alberta reports record-breaking variant cases for second straight day, most new COVID-19 cases since January

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Alberta reported a record-breaking number of new variant cases for the second day in a row and the highest number of new COVID-19 cases in two months on Friday.

There were 130 COVID-19 variant cases identified: 129 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant originating from the United Kingdom and one more case of the B.1.351 variant from South Africa. The total number of variant cases in the province now stands at 1,318.

The province also reported 696 new cases of COVID-19, the highest new daily case count since 746 were reported on Jan. 16.

The positivity rate is currently at 5.8 per cent after 11,918 tests were completed over the last 24 hours. Across the province, there are 5,429 active cases of COVID-19, an increase of 345 from Friday.

Of the active cases, 698 or 12.9 per cent, are variants of concern.

No deaths were reported for the first time since Oct. 17. The provincial death toll stands at 1,957.

There are 276 Albertans hospitalized with COVID-19, an increase of 12. Forty-eight people are in intensive care units, an increase of five.

More to come.

For more on Alberta’s vaccine rollout, read our guide driven by reader questions.

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