Alberta reports 110 new COVID-19 cases over past two days, dipping below 1,000 active cases

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Alberta’s active COVID-19 cases dipped below 1,000 for the first time since last July, according to a Friday update from the province.

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The latest numbers, the first since Wednesday due to the Canada Day holiday, showed Alberta’s active cases dropped to 895 from 1,055 on Wednesday, including 134 cases in the Edmonton Zone. The last time Alberta saw such a low active case count was on July 16, 2020 with 859, and the last time it was under 1,000 was July 17, 2020, when Alberta had 975 active cases.

Friday’s update also saw the province continue to see fewer than 100 new daily COVID-19 cases, with 43 on Thursday and 67 new cases the day before. With 5,492 tests conducted on Thursday, the latest figures amount to a positivity rate of 7.8 per cent. There were 144 people in hospital including 33 in intensive care units.

Although a new death was reported Friday, the death toll remains at 2,301 as one previously-reported death was later determined not to have been caused by COVID-19.

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Alberta has administered more than 4.4 million vaccine doses, amounting to 73.1 per cent of the population 12 and older receiving one dose, and 44.8 per cent being fully vaccinated.

Between June 30 and July 1, 93 new variant cases were identified, and there were 606 active cases involving variants of concern. The Delta, or B.1.617 variant first identified in India, accounted for 53 of those cases.

The update comes one day after Alberta lifted nearly all mandatory COVID-19 restrictions, and the government released guidelines putting the onus of protecting children, adults and workers’ health during a pandemic onto individuals and business owners.

Premier Jason Kenney celebrated Alberta’s reopening and progress in increasing its rate of vaccination at an Alberta Enterprise Group event Friday.

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“Welcome back to normal life,” he said to the in-person crowd in Calgary.

Kenney thanked “responsible” Albertans for making it possible to reopen, including small businesses who struggled under the brunt of public health restrictions over the past 16 months of the pandemic.

“There has been great loss, there has been great adversity as a result of all of this, and yet, thanks to those sacrifices, in this province we are crushing COVID,” said Kenney.

He added that more contagious variants will become dominant, more people will contract the disease, some will develop severe symptoms, and there will be more deaths due to COVID-19.

“But we will not shut down our entire society to cope with an endemic,” said Kenney.

During her final regularly-scheduled COVID-19 update on Tuesday, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said the worst of the pandemic is behind us, though she cautioned Albertans COVID-19 is still here, and to remember to take reasonable precautions.

Isolation and quarantine laws are still in effect. Wearing masks isn’t mandatory in most places, apart from some health-care settings and public transit, but individual businesses and organizations can still require them.

lijohnson@postmedia.com

twitter.com/reportrix

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