COVID-19 in Alberta: 313 new cases, 5 deaths on Wednesday as Stage 2 reopening nears

Vaccinations among eligible Albertans rose to 67.2 per cent on Wednesday as the province readies to enter Stage 2 of its reopening plan on Thursday.

The province reported 313 new cases of COVID-19 as active cases continued to fall, down to 4,204, the lowest since Feb. 20.

Five more Albertans, all in their 60s and 70s, were reported to have died Wednesday, bringing the total number of COVID-19 deaths to 2,256.

More than 2.5 million first doses of vaccine have now been administered, or 67.2 per cent of the eligible population. Just over 598,000 individuals have had a second dose, about 15.7 per cent of the eligible population. 

The are now 329 people in hospital including 83 in intensive care units. 

The province reported a 3.84 per cent test positivity based on approximately 8,500 tests. 

Also Wednesday, Edmonton's Twin Brooks subzone became the first of the province's 132 local geographic areas to reach 70 per cent of its population having had at least a first dose of vaccine.

Stage 2 relaxes restrictions on outdoor gatherings, sports, and post-secondary institutions among other changes. It is scheduled to begin tomorrow, two weeks after the vaccination and hospitalization targets were met. 

Stage 3, which lifts almost all restrictions, will begin two weeks after 70 per cent of eligible Albertans have received at least a first dose.