EDMONTON -- A day after renewing a series of public health restrictions, Alberta's COVID-19 case count and active cases continued to rise sharply on Wednesday. 

The province reported 1,351 new cases, the biggest one-day increase since Dec. 18, bringing its total to 155,476 infections since the start of the pandemic. 

Active cases continued their sharp climb on Wednesday, up to 11,464, and surpassed 11,000 for the first time since Jan. 17.

Variant cases continue to drive the recent rapid growth, with Alberta reporting 575 more cases. Variants of concern now make up 43 per cent of all active cases.

Test positivity exceeded eight per cent for an eighth straight day, recording 9.71 per cent on Wednesday.

There are now 79 Albertans receiving COVID-19 care in intensive care units, the most since Feb. 6. There were 333 total hospitalized patients in hospital, the sixth straight day the number has exceeded 300.

Alberta Health says more than 755,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered by the end of Tuesday. That number represents about 14 per cent of Alberta's population and includes more than 133,000 second doses.

Yesterday, Alberta reverted to Step 1 of its reopening plan and renewed numerous public health restrictions in an effort to slow case growth.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province's chief medical officer of health, is expected to return for another in-person update on Thursday.