EDMONTON -- Alberta's worrying COVID-19 trend continued Wednesday as the province recorded its highest new case count since mid-January.

The province reported 871 new cases, the largest one-day rise since Jan. 14. 

More large daily case counts could be on the way as test positivity remains high: 6.52 per cent on Wednesday, the tenth straight day the value had exceeded five per cent. 

The province reported three new COVID-related deaths, bringing Alberta's COVID-19 death toll to 1,990.

Hospitalizations continued to remain high with 301 COVID-19 patients recieving care, the most since Feb. 18.

Three hundred hospitalized patients was a key metric in the province's reopening plan which required below that number "and falling" to lift restrictions.

Variant cases continue to drive the provine's escalating case counts with 406 new cases reported Wednesday of the B.1.1.7 variant first identified in the United Kingdom. 

Vaccinations continue to grow with nearly 635,000 doses administered as of the end of Tuesday. 

Alberta remains first in active cases measured per capita among Canadian provinces.