EDMONTON -- Alberta on Wednesday reported more than 400 cases of COVID-19 for the third time in six days.

Tuesday's 479 COVID-19 case count increases the active total to 4,918 across Alberta. Eleven per cent of those cases—535—are of the variants of concerns.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw says the B.1.1.7 variant first identified in the U.K. is spreading in the community, while the other two, B.1.351 and P.1, are linked to travel.

"The variant originally identified in the U.K., that variant has become established in the community while we are continuing to work hard to slow its spread. It is spreading in all zones in our province," Hinshaw said.

Alberta has reported 1,097 variant infections since December.

A day earlier, Hinshaw said Alberta was in "a race between the variants and the vaccines."

Alberta Health Services had administered 397,492 doses and fully immunized 92,081 people as of Tuesday.


On St. Patrick's Day, Dr. Hinshaw asked Albertans not to crowd at bars and party indoors with people they don't live with or aren't part of their two-person cohort.

"We know that COVID loves a party, especially ones inside where people mix and mingle in close proximity to each other," she said.

"This is not the year for gathering in restaurants and indoors with friends on St. Patrick's Day. In fact, it's against the rules."

Dr. Hinshaw will give another update Thursday afternoon.