Alberta health officials investigating two workplace outbreaks of P.1 coronavirus variant

Premier Jason Kenney announcing a step back in the provincial re-opening strategy

Premier Jason Kenney announcing a step back in the provincial re-opening strategy

There are now 328 people in the hospital, with 76 of them in intensive care, which Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw described as a sharp increase.

"The outbreak started with a traveller returning to Alberta from out of province".

The province has averaged about 1,000 new COVID-19 cases a day during the Easter long weekend, and the death total has now surpassed 2,000 in the province.

She says the spread has been confined to three work sites in the central and north zones in which employees travelled between locations.

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Hinshaw says so far three of those infections are confirmed to be the more unsafe Brazilian variant, but she adds that's likely to increase as more results come in.

"It's natural to be frustrated and to be sick and exhausted of this pandemic", Hinshaw said.

Alberta Health Services has been working with both companies to ensure those at risk of exposure are offered testing and help with quarantines, she said.

Currently, 312 people are in hospital with 76 people now in the ICU.

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Sturgeon County reported three new cases and four recoveries, with active cases dropping to 39 Tuesday from 40 Monday.

This information comes as the province reports 887 new cases of COVID-19 over the last 24 hours, with 432 being variants of concern. The positivity rate was 9.9 per cent.

Hinshaw said she is concerned about rising cases, including variants, in the province.

Beginning Tuesday at 8 A.M., additional Albertans will be eligible to book a COVID-19 immunization as part of phase 2B through AHS online & Health Link 8-1-1. "We also must balance the public desire for info with protecting patient confidentiality".

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