Albertans can expect an update on the province’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout on Monday from the premier and chief medical officer of health.
Premier Jason Kenney and Dr. Deena Hinshaw are set to speak at 4 p.m. The update will be live-streamed in this post.
Alberta reached another single-day record for new infections over the weekend, reporting 2,433 cases on Saturday and a positivity rage of 12 per cent.
Kenney had strong words for Albertans on Sunday after dozens of unmasked people gathered at a rodeo near the town of Bowden. The gathering, called the No More Lockdown Rodeo Rally, carried on into the night with music, people dancing and reports of no physical distancing.
Speaking to Global News on Monday, former Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. James Talbot said cases in the province are “going to continue to go up.”
“We said when the new variant appeared in the province — because it was more transmissible — if the province continued to relax as they were proposing to do, that we would see the new variant take off, that it would eventually become dominant,” Talbot said.
He said considering that’s now the case, the only way to bring Alberta in line with larger provinces like British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec would be to introduce lockdowns stricter than the ones in place now, and stricter than the ones introduced to gain control of the second wave.
Earlier on Monday, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization approved the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for those 30 and older in Canada.
Last week, Alberta said it would redirect its Johnson and Johnson doses, when they arrived, to Banff and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, where large outbreaks have resulted in surges in cases.
As of Sunday, Alberta had 22,920 cases of COVID-19, 62 per cent of which were variants of concern. A total of 648 people were in hospital, with 155 of them being treated in ICUs.
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