Alberta Health announced Wednesday an additional 1,682 COVID-19 cases have been identified in the province and 34 more deaths have been attributed to the disease.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the province’s active COVID-19 case count was at 20,306 cases, down slightly from 20,513 active cases on Tuesday.
There are 5,198 active cases in the Edmonton zone, 4,884 in the Calgary zone, 4,061 in the Central zone, 3,851 in the North zone and 2,294 in the South zone.
There were 18 cases not affiliated to a specific zone.
As of Wednesday afternoon, there were 1,084 Albertans in hospital with COVID-19, with 268 of those people receiving care in the ICU. That compares to 1,100 in hospital on Tuesday, with 263 of those in the ICU.
In the last 24 hours, 34 COVID-19-related deaths were reported to Alberta Health.
The majority of those deaths — 12 — occurred in the Central zone. A woman in her 50s, a man in his 60s, woman and a man in their 90s, four women and a man in their 70s and two men in their 80s, all with pre-existing conditions, died. A man in his 90s with no known conditions also died.
There were 10 deaths reported in the Edmonton zone. Three women and a man in their 80s, a woman in her 90s, a man in his 50s, a woman in her 90s and a man in his 70s died. All had pre-existing conditions. A man in his 40s and a woman in her 70s without known conditions also died.
The Calgary zone reported six deaths: two women and two men in their 70s and a woman in her 80s, all with pre-existing conditions, died. A woman in her 70s with no known pre-existing conditions also died.
Four deaths were reported in the North zone: a man in his 60s, a man in his 70s, a man in his 80s and a woman in her 90s died. All four had pre-existing conditions.
There were two deaths reported in the South zone where a woman in her 40s and a man in his 80s died. Both had pre-existing conditions.
As of Wednesday’s update, 83.4 per cent of eligible Albertans over the age of 12 had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 74.2 per cent of eligible Albertans were fully vaccinated.
To date, 296,466 Albertans have tested positive for COVID-19, while 273,463 have recovered.
Kenney speaks to Trudeau about public health crisis
Premier Jason Kenney and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with one another Wednesday morning with the COVID-19 pandemic dominating much of their conversation, according to a news release issued by the Alberta government.
The two discussed how the Canadian Armed Forces and Canadian Red Cross might be able to help with the health crisis, getting a shipment of Janssen (Johnson and Johnson) vaccine to Alberta and the importance of getting rapid antigen tests to Alberta employers.
Trudeau confirmed the federal government has a “significant inventory” and would look into private-sector availability.
According to the news release, Kenney asked Trudeau to supply Alberta with 20,000 doses of the Janssen vaccine and the prime minister said the “federal government would be happy to help.”
Kenney told Trudeau that Albertans in areas of low vaccine uptake have said they are awaiting for Janssen doses to be made available.
During a news conference on Tuesday, Kenney said Alberta would be upping its efforts to debunk vaccine misinformation.
“Everyone will receive a direct mail informational pamphlet,” the premier said. “We’ll also be running radio, digital and social media, as well as billboard advertisements to spread the word.
“We’re also developing specific advertisements to reach populations where we are seeing slower uptake in vaccination, including rural regions for Albertans in their 20s and 30s, and other particular communities as well.”
Kenney said the province would also be working with pharmacies and Alberta Health Services to reach out to those who have only received one dose o a COVID-19 vaccine so far.
The Alberta government news release said the two leaders also discussed the Enbridge Line 3 replacement project, the Line 5 pipeline crossing and the federal government’s child-care program.
Kenney told Trudeau that Alberta has approved a new negotiating mandate to get to a deal on child-care funding.