COVID-19 in Alberta: 76 new cases as province readies to reopen on Canada Day

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Alberta reported 76 new cases on Wednesday as the province readies to enter Stage 3 of its reopening plan on Canada Day.

Two deaths were reported Wednesday, including that of man in his 20s from the Central Zone. He is the 11th COVID-19 death under the age of 30. A total of 2,301 Albertans have now died due to COVID-19.

The province administered just over 4,500 first doses of vaccine Tuesday and more than 56,000 second doses. Just under 73 per cent of eligible Albertans have received a first dose and 42.4 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Active cases fell to 1,055 and there are now 165 coronavirus patients in hospital including 34 in intensive care units. 

The province reported an 1.17 per cent test positivity rate based on about 6,300 tests. 

Stage 3 of Alberta's reopening plan is set to begin on the holiday Thursday with almost all public health restrictions being removed. 

According to Alberta Health Services, masks will still be required in some settings, including while on public transit and while inside city-owned buildings.

"This is just a reminder that if you feel even a little bit unwell, it remains critical for you to stay home and arrange to get tested," said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health. "We will also continue to actively investigate and contact trace new cases, as well as screen for variants."

Hinshaw urges Albertans to remain vigilant. "COVID-19 is not going away completely. It remains a potentially serious illness that we must keep respecting."

Premier Jason Kenney has said he does not plan to bring back restrictions, adding that Alberta is not only open for summer but open for good.

With files from CTV News Calgary