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COVID-19 cases rise in fourth wave

The total of active cases in the province is 11,426. Seven more deaths were reported over the weekend.
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St. Albert is seeing COVID-19 case numbers surge again as the province grapples with a fourth wave of the virus.

As of Monday, the city of St. Albert had 115 active cases and hasn't had numbers this high since May 22, when the community clocked 120 cases.

There have been 45 deaths in the community, which has been unchanged since the third wave when seniors’ homes in the city were hit hard by the virus.

Since the beginning of the pandemic there have been 3,083 cases in St. Albert with 2,923 people having recovered.

St. Albert is not alone battling the virus again, with cases across the province rising, and there has been no sign of government officials, such as Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, Alberta Minister of Health Tyler Shandro, and Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw for weeks.

Kenney most recently spoke to Albertans on Aug. 9 at a conference to announce the expansion of an Edmonton brewery and Hinshaw hasn't addressed the public since Aug. 13

Although there has been an absence of press briefings and public appearances from the three top officials in the province, the government sent out a press release on Monday which allows select groups to get a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, starting on Sept. 1. 

Seniors living in congregate care and immunocompromised individuals, including transplant recipients, those with chronic kidney disease, those in active cancer treatment, and Albertans taking medications for autoimmune diseases, will be eligible for a third dose this week.

Albertans travelling to jurisdictions that don't accept visitors vaccinated with AstraZeneca, Covishield, or mixed doses will also be able to get their third dose. 

Across the province over the weekend there were another 3,056 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed, with 865 cases on Saturday, 960 on Sunday, and 1,231 diagnosed on Monday. 

There are currently 401 Albertans in the hospital, with 98 of them in the intensive care unit. The total of active cases in the province is 11,426. Seven more deaths were reported over the weekend.

The provincial positivity rate sits at 10.41 per cent and the R-value, which represents the number of people infected with COVID-19 by each infected person, sits at 1.19 provincially. 

With cases rising across the province and the top three provincial officials away on vacation, Alberta doctors formed a group called Protect Our Province and decided to hold a public press briefing on Monday to fill the information void left by the absences.

"These briefings will seek to fill the void our government has created," the group said in an emailed release. 

Right now some 66.3 per cent of all Albertans have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 59.3 per cent have had two doses. For those eligible for the shot, those over 12 and older, about 69.7 per cent have had both doses of the vaccine. These numbers are lower than the national average — 76.2 per cent of those 12 and older have received two doses nationally. About 83.7 per cent of those 12 and older have had at least one dose in Canada.

Jennifer Henderson

About the Author: Jennifer Henderson

Jennifer Henderson is the editor of the St. Albert Gazette and has been with Great West Media since 2015
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