Dr. Hinshaw provided the COVID-19 numbers update for Thursday, April 22.

The province saw another 1,857 new cases with a positivity rate of 10.7%.

Another six deaths were reported bringing the total in the province to 2,054.

There are active alerts and outbreaks in 612 schools or 25% of provincial schools. 

There were 1,326 cases of variants of concern which now account for 60% of all active cases.

Dr. Hinshaw said a new variant of interest has been reported in Alberta. "This variant was in a returning interprovincial traveller to Alberta, and no additional cases of this variant have been detected to date. As with all new variants, research is underway to understand what may be different about the B.1.617 variant, how it spreads, and if it creates more severe illness. So far, we are calling this a variant of interest as we work with colleagues across the country to monitor the latest findings on this variant as evidence emerges from around the world."  The B.1.617 was first identified in Denmark and appears to be the rapid driver behind rising cases in India. 

There are now 518 people in hospital, an increase of 16, and 116 in ICU, an increase of 11.

In the past 24 hours, over 42,000 doses of vaccine have been administered to Albertans.

Cochrane saw an increase of 8 cases for a total of 150 and RVC dropped by 26 cases for a total of 176.