EDMONTON -- Alberta reported 1,646 COVID-19 cases on Thursday, the highest single-day count since mid-December.

The province has 16,223 cases and 416 people with COVID-19 in hospital, including 86 in ICU.

Just over a thousand cases from Thursday's count are linked to variants of concern, Dr. Hinshaw said.

Thursday's positivity rate was 9.5 per cent after Alberta Health Services conducted more than 17,000 tests.

Alberta has reported more than a thousand cases for nine straight days.

As of the end of Tuesday, Alberta had administered more than one million COVID-19 doses.


Hinshaw spoke at length about the AstraZeneca vaccine as blood clot concerns grow but reassured Albertans of the vaccine's safety and protection against the coronavirus.

There has been one report of blood clots related to AstraZeneca in Canada, and 79 out of more than 20 million shots in the U.K.

Albertans aged 55 to 64 are eligible to get the AstraZeneca shot.

"This tells us that the syndrome is very rare. And in this age group, the risks of serious harm from COVID infection are much greater than the risk of this rare outcome for anyone infected with COVID-19," Hinshaw said. "They're much more likely to experience a blood clot from COVID. About one-in-four people hospitalized with COVID gets blood clots."

Starting Saturday, Alberta Health Services will accept AstraZeneca walk-ins at the Edmonton EXPO Centre and Calgary Southport clinic.