Alberta reports 170 new COVID-19 cases as hospitalizations continue to drop
EDMONTON -- Alberta reported another 170 cases of COVID-19 Friday as hospitalizations and ICU admissions continue to decline.
The province completed 6,682 tests to raise the positivity rate to 3.9 per cent.
There are 296 people in hospital with COVID-19 and 79 in ICU. Last Friday, there were 379 patients seeking treatment for COVID-19 in hospital including 108 in ICU.
Three more deaths from COVID-19 were reported Friday, raising the provincial total to 2,265 deaths.
More than 3.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Alberta with 67.8 per cent of the population aged 12 and over receiving at least one dose. Currently 16.7 per cent of the population eligible for immunization are fully vaccinated.
The province entered Stage 2 of the reopening plan on Thursday.
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The threshold to reach Stage 2 requires 60 per cent of Albertans aged 12 or older receiving their first vaccine dose and fewer that 500 hospitalizations.
Under the new restrictions, outdoor gatherings up to 20 people are permitted, gyms and fitness studios can open, and restaurants may resume indoor dining with a maximum of six people per table.
To move to the next stage of reopening, Alberta needs 70 per cent of the population over the age of 12 to receive one dose of vaccine.
In a media availability on Thursday, Health Minister Tyler Shandro said there are approximately 70,000 Albertans booked to receive first doses in the next week.
According to Premier Jason Kenney, the province would need over 100,000 vaccine appointments for first doses to allow Alberta to move to Stage 3 by the end of June or early July.
“Having that first dose target achieved would be the quickest way to be able to move forward into the kinds of activities that we’ve all missed,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health. “We are extremely close.”