Some Albertans who have received a third dose — or booster — of the COVID-19 vaccine reported Tuesday the new app to scan their immunization record in QR code form wasn’t working.
For someone who’s had three doses — receiving their third within the last two weeks — the Android version of the new AB Covid Records Verifier scans successfully, however on an Apple device, it can show up as an “X”.
An Alberta Health spokesperson confirmed to Global News Wednesday that the issue was only affecting the Apple version of the app. Alberta Health expects “the app to update very soon with this issue resolved.”
“In the meantime, Albertans can continue to show their paper and electronic records when accessing businesses and venues participating in the Restrictions Exemption Program, including the ones obtained through Alberta.ca/CovidRecords, MyHealth Records or the paper records obtained at their vaccination appointment,” the statement read.
“The transition to vaccine records with QR codes as the only valid proof of vaccination takes effect on Nov. 15. This transition period allows Alberta Health to address any technical issues as they arise.”
The AB Covid Records Verifier quietly made an appearance on the Google Play and Apple App store Tuesday morning before the Alberta government introduced it at a news conference that afternoon.
Daily COVID-19 numbers
On Wednesday, Alberta Health confirmed 652 new cases of COVID-19 out of about 8,620 tests.
There were 38 new deaths related to COVID-19 reported Wednesday. While they occurred over the last six days, they were reported to Alberta Health in the last 24 hours, Dr. Deena Hinshaw explained.
The last time that many deaths were reported in one day was on Jan. 12.
Alberta’s death toll from COVID-19 now stands at 2,901.
As of Wednesday, there were 1,027 people in hospital with COVID-19, 236 of whom were being treated in ICU.
“Of the 236 in ICU, 91 per cent are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated,” Hinshaw said.
There are currently 14,218 active cases of COVID-19 across the province.
“I’d like to remind everyone that we all have the ability to take small actions every day that will benefit our communities,” Alberta’s chief medical officer of health added.
“The most important thing we can do is to get vaccinated, and stay home if we’re feeling even a little bit unwell.
“Vaccines are safe, effective and save lives,” Hinshaw said.
“If you have not yet gotten your first or second dose, please do so right away. Book your shot today at http://alberta.ca/vaccine.”
Help from Red Cross
Senator Paula Simons shared an update from the federal ministry of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Wednesday night.
She said nine Canadian Red Cross registered nurses have already been deployed to Alberta: four working in Red Deer, three in Grande Prairie, and one each in Lacombe and Wetaskiwin.
“Another three Red Cross RNs will be deployed to Red Deer, which has been so hard hit, by Oct. 18, for a total of seven respite nurses to relieve the amazing Red Deer nurses who have worked so hard in this crisis,” Simons said on Twitter.
“Three additional Red Cross nurses will join their three colleagues in Grande Prairie the week of Oct. 25.
“Another five CRC nurses are standing ready, awaiting news of their placements, for a total of 20 Red Cross nurses, in addition to the eight military nurses already here,” Simons added.
Alberta Health Services said Wednesday it continues to do all it can to ensure there is enough ICU capacity to meet patient demand, including opening additional spaces and redeploying staff.
As of Wednesday, there were 376 ICU beds open in Alberta, including 203 additional surge spaces (a 117 per cent increase over the baseline of 173).
There were 283 total patients in ICU, the vast majority of whom were COVID-19 positive.
“While the number of patients in ICU fluctuates constantly, the number of patients in ICU has decreased by 27 per cent over the past seven days,” an AHS spokesperson said.
Provincially, ICU capacity (including additional surge beds) sat at 75 per cent.
“Without the additional surge spaces, provincial ICU capacity would be at 164 per cent.”
Calgary zone ICU is operating at 75 per cent of current capacity, Edmonton zone is operating at 77 per cent of current capacity,
Central zone ICU is operating at 58 per cent of current capacity, South zone ICU is operating at 75 per cent capacity, and North zone is operating at 79 per cent capacity.