Everything you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Tuesday, Dec. 14


Alberta reported 873 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, compiling data from the previous three days from the weekend.

Omicron variant case total climbs to 30, with community transmission suspected in 1 case

The Alberta government reported Monday that seven new cases of the omicron variant have been detected. (AHS)

The latest COVID-19 numbers: 

  • The Alberta government reported Monday:
    • There were 873 new COVID cases over the weekend.
    • The total number of active cases in Alberta is 4,182.
    • Alberta Health says there are 357 people with COVID in hospital, including 68 in intensive care. 
    • The province recorded three new deaths over the weekend.
  • The Alberta government reported Monday that seven new cases of the omicron variant have been detected. The province has identified 30 cases in total, 21 of them in the Calgary health zone.
  • Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, tweeted that one omicron case is suspected to have been caused by community transmission from an unknown source.
  • The emergence of omicron, named a variant of concern by the World Health Organization, has prompted the return of border closures, travel restrictions and stricter testing requirements across the world.
  • A total of 3,275 Albertans have died of COVID.
  • 331,834 Albertans have recovered.

  • See how Alberta compares on vaccination rates and active cases with the rest of Canada, how many Albertans are in hospital and more in the other charts and graphs at the bottom of this story.

  • Outbreaks have been declared in two units at Peter Lougheed Hospital in northeast Calgary. Thirteen people, including one health-care worker, have contracted COVID-19 as a result. 
  • In Edmonton, three units at Grey Nuns Community Hospital have declared outbreaks. Seven people have tested positive for COVID-19; one death is associated with the outbreak. 
  • There are seven other outbreaks at acute care sites throughout the province.
  • There are active alerts or outbreaks in 144 schools.
  • There were 228 intensive care unit beds open in Alberta, including 55 surge beds.
  • Alberta’s ICU capacity (including additional surge beds) is at 81 per cent. Without the surge spaces, ICU capacity would be at 107 per cent.
  • Provincewide, the R-value for Nov. 8 to 28 was 0.88, with a confidence interval between 0.84 and 0.91. An R-value below 1.0 means transmission is no longer growing.
  • The R-value for the Edmonton zone is 0.95, and in Calgary, 0.90. In the rest of Alberta the rate is 0.80.

The latest on vaccines:

  • Alberta Health Services tweeted Friday that it had received reports of a scam in which texts that appear to be from AHS promise Albertans money for getting a COVID-19 vaccine and ask for credit card information.
  • Also last week, AHS tweeted that it was aware of misinformation being spread that children are being hospitalized at the Alberta Children’s Hospital with adverse reactions following COVID-19 vaccinations. AHS said it was untrue; there haven’t been any pediatric hospitalizations related to COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Earlier this month, prompted by the new omicron variant, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommended mRNA booster shots be administered to all Canadians over 50 and anyone who falls into the high-risk category, as well as anyone who received the AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
  • Alberta is in the process of expanding access to vaccine booster shots to all Albertans ages 18 and older, six months out from their second dose of the vaccine, starting with select groups.
    • It opened up to those 60 and older on Dec. 6.
    • The first groups to be eligible for a third dose as of Nov. 8 were people 70 or older, First Nations, Métis and Inuit residents and frontline health-care workers. 
    • The province says bookings for all adults over the age of 18 will open by early next year. 
  • As of Monday: 
    • 72.2 per cent of the province’s total population — or 76.1 per cent of eligible Albertans (ages five years and older) — have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
    • Out of the province’s total population, 78 per cent have received at least one dose, or 82.4 per cent (ages five and over), according to CBC’s vaccine tracker. 
    • That compares with 81.2 per cent of the total population Canada-wide who have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 76.1 per cent of the total population who are fully vaccinated. Among those eligible, 85.3 per cent have had one dose, and 80 per cent are fully vaccinated.
  • The percentage of eligible people in Alberta who are vaccinated dropped on Nov. 26, when children between the ages of five to 11 were added to the population of those eligible.

The latest on restrictions, rapid testing and more:

  • According to an email from the Alberta government to a Calgary pharmacy, all Albertans will be able to access free take-home COVID-19 rapid antigen testing kits from participating pharmacies in Edmonton, Red Deer and Calgary by mid-December. Those outside of these cities can access testing kits through Alberta Health Services sites.
  • The kits are intended for people without symptoms of COVID-19. Those who do have symptoms should stay home, isolate and book a PCR test through Alberta Health Services.
  • Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said Friday that an announcement would come on Tuesday about plans for the distribution of the rapid antigen tests.
  • CBC Calgary reported on Dec. 10 that the Calgary Catholic School District says it has used more than 10,000 rapid COVID-19 test kits provided by the province so far this school year, with half of those being used by staff not fully vaccinated participating in the district’s mandatory rapid testing program.
  • Meanwhile, the Calgary Board of Education said it is not providing rapid tests for staff.
  • The Alberta government imposed the restrictions exemption program, a voluntary vaccine passport system, as of Sept. 20 to combat a disastrous fourth wave of COVID-19. A full list of restrictions and exemptions is available on the government’s website

See which regions are being hit hardest:

Here is the latest detailed regional breakdown of active cases, as reported by the province on Monday:

  • Calgary zone: 1,732.
  • Edmonton zone: 1,264.
  • Central zone: 525.
  • North zone: 418.
  • South zone: 237.
  • Unknown: 6.

Here are the latest Alberta COVID-19 stories:

The latest updates on COVID-19 in Alberta in charts and graphs:

|Corrections and Clarifications

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