EDMONTON -- Alberta continues to inch toward its third stage of reopening with now only 1.5 per cent of the population needing a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

In a limited update announced on the province’s COVID-19 information website, Alberta reported another 179 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday after completing 5,476 tests. The provincial positivity rate is 3.3 per cent

Alberta has 3,247 active infections. The Calgary zone leads the province for active cases with 1,330. The Edmonton zone has 839 while the North zone has 569. The Central and South zones have 381 and 128 active infections, respectively.

There are 290 people in hospital, including 74 in ICU. Hospitalizations decreased by six and ICU patients by two since Friday.

The Calgary zone also leads the province for hospitalizations and patients being treated in the ICU with 132 and 32, respectively. The Edmonton zone has 88 people in hospital and 27 in ICU. The Central zone has 27 currently in hospital and five patients in ICU. The North zone has 25 hospitalizations and seven in ICU while the South zone has 18 and 3, respectively.

Four more deaths from COVID-19 were reported Saturday, raising the provincial total to 2,269.

Over 3.33 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Alberta.

Approximately 68.5 per cent of those eligible for vaccination in Alberta have received their first dose — an increase of 0.7 per cent since Friday.

More than 19 per cent of the population aged 12 and older in Alberta are fully vaccinated, representing 16.3 per cent of the overall population in the province.

To move to Step 3 of the reopening plan, 70 per cent or more Albertans need to receive their first immunization.

Stage 3 would lift all remaining public health restrictions and permit indoor social gatherings and would take effect two weeks after the vaccine threshold is reached.