As Alberta sees positive returns on its COVID-19 vaccine campaign, case numbers are still concerning.
The province reported an additional 1,449 cases Tuesday, based on 11,852 tests for a test positivity rate 12.7 per cent.
Alberta has 24,998 active cases of COVID-19, the second-highest number the province has recorded since the start of the pandemic.
There are also 705 people in hospital and 163 in the ICU.
“I do take some solace that in the last week or 10 days that the numbers appear to be somewhat stable,” Premier Jason Kenney said Tuesday.
“They’re starting to move up again, we’re up over 700 in hospital and 163 in ICU.”
The reproduction value of the virus, or the average number of people that someone with COVID-19 will infect, is down from 1.12 to one over the past week in Alberta. The biggest drop in R-value came outside Calgary and Edmonton, down from 1.08 to 0.94.
“These are positive signs that transmission may be starting to slow,” said chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw.
Red Deer saw a decrease in active cases, down from 848 active to 817 Tuesday and has 767.9 active cases per 100,000 people.
The city did jump from 4,993 total cases to date to 5,037 cases, but also added 75 recovered cases.
On the vaccine front, Alberta delivered over 270,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine over the last seven days and has given out more than 1.9 million doses so far.
There were 190,000 vaccine appointments booked through Alberta Health Services and pharmacies Monday and 328,000 people booked to get their shot over the next seven days.
It also took Alberta 119 days to get to a million doses administered of the COVID-19 vaccine, but only 29 days to get to two million.
“This is a big milestone for our province,” Kenney said.
He added about one in three Albertans over the age of 16 now have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Kenney said the plan is to have half of the population vaccinated by the first week of June and two-thirds by the third week of June.
“Your vaccine is your ticket back to normal life,” Kenney said.
He added the province is working to roll out a central COVID-19 vaccine booking system next month that includes pharmacies, AHS and physician clinics. The government will also be ramping up an online ad campaign to encourage Albertans to get vaccinated, as well as sending vaccine information pamphlets in the mail over the coming weeks.
The Central zone sits at 2,713 active cases of the virus, with 69 people in hospital and nine in the ICU. The number of active cases in the local zone was down 94 from Monday’s 2,807.
When looking at the province’s geospatial mapping for COVID-19 cases on the municipality setting, regions are defined by metropolitan areas, cities, urban service areas, rural areas and towns with approximately 10,000 or more people; smaller regions are incorporated into the corresponding rural area.
With that setting, Red Deer County has 207 active cases of the virus, Lacombe County has 179 active and Clearwater County sits at 70 active.
Lacombe has 143 active and Sylvan Lake has 152 active cases, while Olds sits at 92 active. Mountain View County sits at 86 active, Kneehill County has 52 active and Drumheller has 23 active.
Camrose County sits at 37 active cases and the County of Stettler has 121.
Camrose is at 110 active cases and Wetaskiwin has 69 active.
On the local geographic area setting, Wetaskiwin County, including Maskwacis has 172 active. Ponoka, including East Ponoka County, has 83 active cases. Rimbey, including parts of Lacombe County has 46 active.