Dr. Hinshaw provided the COVID-19 update for Wednesday, March 24 providing the following numbers.
- There were 692 new cases reported with over 12,800 tests performed for a positivity rate of 5.3%.
- There were 202 new cases of variants of concern reported which now account for 19% of active cases.
- Hospitalizations dropped by five for a total of 285 and there are 51 in ICU.
- Sadly, two more deaths were reported.
- There are alerts or outbreaks in 353 or 15% of provincial schools.
- To date, 512,000 doses of vaccine have been administered to Albertans.
- Rocky View County added five new cases for a total of 69.
- Cochrane added two new cases of COVID-19 for a total of 27.
When asked if there were specific events causing the increase in cases Dr. Hinshaw replied, "Unfortunately, there is no one single sector or activity that is driving the recent increase. We have seen indoor social gatherings, outbreaks, and people working while symptomatic all play a role – along with many other factors. From a public health perspective, it would be easier if there was just one activity that was driving all the spread."
Dr. Hinshaw also said that is more important now than ever to practice health protocols especially with the end in sight with the rollout of vaccines. She reminded everyone eligible in Phase 2A to make their appointments.
"If you have already booked an appointment but it is scheduled for April or later, please consider calling other pharmacies near you or Alberta Health Services," said Dr. Hinshaw. "There will be an appointment available much sooner. If you are eligible and haven’t yet booked, now is the time. You can book online through Alberta Health Services or book at a pharmacy near you. We all need to support each other in getting the vaccines."