Alberta confirmed 397 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday as the number of people in hospital and the ICU with the novel coronavirus climbed slightly.
As of Thursday afternoon, there were 102 people in hospital receiving care for COVID-19 and 24 of those people were in the ICU.
There were 2,526 active cases across the province, up from 2,282 on Wednesday. As has been the case for weeks, the majority of those were in the Calgary zone with 1,351.
There were 469 active cases in the Edmonton zone; the Central zone had 157 active cases; there were 282 reported in the south zone and 262 in the North zone.
There were five active cases not affiliated with a specific zone.
Over the past 24 hours, 7,460 tests were performed, putting the province’s positivity rate at 5.39 per cent.
During the same time period, one additional COVID-19 death was reported to Alberta Health.
To date, 5,355,254 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. Of eligible Albertans 12 and up, 76.2 per cent have received at least one dose, while 66.2 per cent are fully vaccinated.
On Thursday morning, Dr. Deena Hinshaw appeared on 630 CHED and Global News Radio 770 CHQR to defend her decision to shift Alberta’s response to COVID-19 from a pandemic response to an endemic one.
Hinshaw said her approach isn’t about declaring COVID-19 over and no longer being a risk to Albertans’ health.
“It’s about the nature of that risk changing based on the wide availability of vaccines and the uptake that we currently have,” the chief medical officer of health said.
“I think people need to take it very seriously and I continue to do so. But again, we can’t look at COVID as the only risk that we face.”
Since the pandemic began, 235,641 Albertans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, while 230,786 have recovered.