Following Health Minister Shandro's announcement regarding the easing of some restrictions on Monday, January 18, Dr. Deena Hinshaw took to the podium. 

Alberta's Chief Medical Officer announced that there will be a change in reporting terminology for cases of COVID-19 in schools. In response to parents providing feedback that the categories of alert, outbreak, and watch are confusing, the following change has been implemented. 

"Starting on Monday, the watch category will be removed from reporting of COVID cases in schools. Instead, we will use categories with specific number ranges for schools with cases. An alert will apply to schools with one to four cases, and schools with two or more cases will still be included on our public reporting map as they have always been since September. In addition, there will be two categories of outbreaks – one for schools with five to nine cases and one for 10 or more cases. We have been asked to provide more detail on number of cases in outbreaks and this change responds to this request. To be clear: this is a change to terminology only."

The COVID-19 numbers for Thursday, January 14 were as follows:

  • There were 967 new cases reported in the past 24 hours after over 16,000 tests were performed for a positivity rage of 5.8%.
  • There are 806 people in the hospital with 136 in ICU. 
  • Another 21 deaths were reported in the past 24 hours. 
  • In schools, there are active alerts in 12 schools with 15 cases in total in the province.
  • Cochrane saw an increase of one case for a total of 49 active cases.
  • Rocky View County saw a decrease of ten cases for a total of 79 active cases. 

Dr. Hinshaw also reported that 8,500 more Albertans have received their vaccine shot for the virus as of yesterday. Bringing the total to nearly 67,000 who have been immunized.