COVID-19 in Alberta: 887 new infections as variants near 40 per cent of active cases

Phase 2A of Alberta's COVID-19 immunization began on Monday, March 15, 2021.

Variant cases now represent nearly 40 per cent of Alberta's 10,582 active cases following the province's Easter Monday update. 

Alberta reported 887 new infections, marking the sixth straight update reporting more than 850 new cases. Monday's report included full data after limited, preliminary updates on Good Friday through Easter Sunday.

The data shows the province added 1,081 cases on April 1, 1,071 on April 2, and 948 on April 3. Daily updates represent the numbers from the day prior.

Test positivity sharply increased Monday at 9.89 per cent, the fourth highest value of the pandemic. Test positivity has now exceeded eight per cent for the last four straight days.

And, active cases have now grown by 1,767 since the start of April.

The number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 remained over 300, with 312 patients receiving care, up from 277 on March 28. The number of COVID-19 intensive care unit patients now sits at 75, the highest since early February.

Four more Albertans were reported to have died since April 1, bringing the province's death toll to 1,998. 

That rapid rise has been fueled by variant cases, which now make up 39.2 per cent of all active cases, an increase from 27.2 per cent registered last Monday. 

The province typically reports R-Values by region to start the week, but did not on Easter Monday.

Alberta Health says more than 707,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered by the end of Sunday. That number represents 13.4 per cent of Alberta's population and includes more than 116,000 second doses.

The continued rise in cases has more doctors calling for more public health restrictions. 

"Clearly we can't keep doing what we've been doing and expect thing to change and so as a starting point something has to change," said infectious disease expert Lynora Saxinger. 

"I really think this is a tipping point that' really concerning." 

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province's chief medical officer of health, will return for a full-update on Tuesday.