Alberta is closing in on 8,000 active COVID-19 cases.
Tuesday, the province added an additional 576 cases by conducting 8,078 tests for a positivity rate of 7.1 per cent.
Alberta also identified 332 new cases of the COVID-19 variant Tuesday and now has 2,376 active variant vases, almost 30 per cent of the province’s total active cases of 7,975.
Premier Jason Kenney expressed concern about the potential spread of COVID-19 variants Monday in a Facebook live question and answer session.
He said the B.1.1.7. (U.K.) variant is worrisome, but the P.1 variant out of Brazil is “far more lethal and may be piercing the protective effect of prior natural infection and vaccines.”
Despite those concerns, the premier still expressed cautious optimism about Alberta’s fight against COVID-19.
“We are getting to the end of this thing – by which I mean the pandemic. We just need to avoid exponential growth, driven by these variants, by taking further steps forward that could accelerate viral transmission,” Kenney said.
“We just need to keep this thing under control for a few more weeks until we’ve got enough vaccines to have a real protective effect on our populations.”
Alberta has administered 607,556 doses of the vaccine, while 97,414 Albertans have been fully vaccinated.
There are 301 people in hospital across Alberta, including 58 in intensive care. There were four additional deaths reported Tuesday, bringing the death toll to 1,987 since the start of the pandemic.
The Central zone has 693 active cases of COVID-19, with 33 people in hospital, including four in intensive care.
Red Deer dropped from 210 active cases Monday, to 197 Tuesday.
When looking at the province’s geospatial mapping for COVID-19 cases on the municipality setting, regions are defined by metropolitan areas, cities, urban service areas, rural areas and towns with approximately 10,000 or more people; smaller regions are incorporated into the corresponding rural area.
With that setting, Red Deer County has 28 active cases of the virus, Lacombe County has 44 active and Clearwater County sits at 10 active.
Lacombe has 35 active and Sylvan Lake has 31 active cases, while Olds sits at 14 active. Mountain View County sits at 16 active, Kneehill County has 12 active and Drumheller has 51 active.
Camrose County sits at 10 active cases and the County of Stettler has seven.
Camrose is at six active cases and Wetaskiwin has 44 active.
On the local geographic area setting, Wetaskiwin County, including Maskwacis has 68 active. Ponoka, including East Ponoka County, has 108 active cases and Rimbey, which includes West Ponoka County and parts of Lacombe County has eight active.