Alberta recorded 325 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, as well as seven additional deaths from the disease.
The new cases came as a result of 9,376 test being completed, putting the province’s positivity rate at about 3.5 per cent.
There were 352 people in hospital with COVID-19 on Friday afternoon, 55 of whom were being treated in the ICU.
The seven additional deaths bring the province’s death toll from COVID-19 to 1,812.
Six of the deaths occurred in the Edmonton zone. Three deaths were linked to the outbreak at Youville Home: a man in his 90s and two women in their 90s. Two men in their 80s linked to the outbreak at Summerwood Village Retirement Residences died. A man in his 80s linked to the outbreak at Boyle Health Centre also died. All six cases included comorbidities, according to Alberta Health.
A woman in her 70s with comorbidities linked to the outbreak at The View at Lethbridge in the South zone also died.
Earlier Friday, Premier Jason Kenney announced that Phase 1B of the province’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout will begin today.
Alberta Health Services will be offering the vaccine to all residents of retirement centres, lodges, supportive living and other congregate living centres who are 75 and over.
Beginning Wednesday, Feb. 24, all Albertans born in 1946 or earlier will be eligible to book a vaccine appointment using either an online or telephone booking system, the premier said.
“This is an exciting day for Alberta seniors,” Kenney said.
Also Friday, Kenney released details of Phase 2 of the province’s vaccine rollout plan, which is scheduled to begin in April depending on vaccine supply.
Phase 2, which will offer vaccines to nearly 1.8 million Albertans, will roll out in four groups:
- All Albertans age 65-74
- First Nations and Metis people age 50-64, on or off reserve or Metis settlements
- Staff and residents of supportive living facilities who did not get vaccinated in Phase 1
- All Albertans age 18-64 with underlying health conditions
- Kenney said the province is still working to define which conditions will apply and in what priority order. Details will be announced prior to Group B vaccinations
- All residents and staff of congregate living settings: correctional facilities, homeless shelters and group homes, including disability, mental health and other types of licensed supportive living
- Health-care workers and care givers providing care to individuals at high risk
- All Albertans age 50-64
- First Nations and Métis people aged 35-49 on and off reserve or Metis settlements
As of Feb. 18, 160,423 doses of vaccine have been administered in Alberta. More than 58,600 Albertans are fully vaccinated with two doses of vaccine.
There were 4,840 active cases of COVID-19 in Alberta Friday: 1,702 in the Calgary zone, 1,260 in the Edmonton zone, 792 in the North zone, 752 in the Central zone, 325 in the South zone and nine not tied to any specific zone.
So far, 130,355 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Alberta. As of Friday, 123,703 people have recovered.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.