EDMONTON -- Alberta reported 474 new infections of COVID-19 on Saturday, its largest one-day increase since early February, as well as five more deaths. 

The increase is the largest since Feb. 4 and brings the total number of cases to 138,036.

There are now 4,594 active cases with the province's seven-day moving average 4,654.

Alberta also recorded a 4.80 per cent positivity rate based on just over 8,800 tests.

There are currently 254 Albertans in hospital, including 35 in intensive care units, due to COVID-19. 

There have now been 854 variant cases reported in Alberta, including 70 reported Saturday, all of them the variant first identified in the U.K.

Variant cases require a second screening of a positive test meaning the daily reported number is a mix of current and historical cases.

More than 345,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in Alberta at the end of Friday.

Phase 2A of the vaccine rollout is slated to begin on Monday. It will include:

  •  Albertans aged 65 to 74
  •  First Nations, Metis and Inuit people born in 1971 or earlier
  •  Staff and residents of licensed supportive living facilities who have not gotten the vaccine

AstraZeneca vaccines are also now available to Albertans born between 1957 and 1961, as well as First Nations, Metis and Inuit born between 1972 and 1986.

Alberta's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, will return for an in-person update next week.