Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw gave the provincial update on COVID-19 today (January 18)

She started by apologizing to health care workers who had felt singled out by her words last week when she encouraged those who are eligible to make appointments over the weekend, especially given the new information released today about the lack of supply of the vaccine in Alberta.

Hinshaw also echoed Premier Jason Kenny's comments from earlier today in regards to not having enough doses of the vaccine and having to cancel vaccination appointments. She says they are working to try and get all of those who are at risk vaccinated as soon as possible.

It's been one week since in class schools returned to in-school learning, Hinshaw noted there are currently 181 cases in 133 schools since classes resumed, she also said these were community-based transmissions and not in school transmissions. 

Some of the previous restrictions in place were lifted starting today and Hinshaw is happy to see numbers going down across the province but reminds us to keep doing our best to stop the spread, as we still have a way to go, "Please continue to take every precaution you can and make good choices, choices that will help reduce the spread of Covid-19, choices that will help save lives and our health care system and choices that will help lead us in a direction where we may be able to safely relax more measures in the weeks ahead." 

Another 474 new active cases have been found from approximately 8,500 tests in the past 24 hours, meaning the province's positivity rate sits at 5.4%.

Of these active cases, 739 people are in hospital with 120 in ICU. 11 more deaths were also announced.

Hinshaw stressed that Covid-19 is far more deadly than the flu, she shared data that shows over the past ten years, the total deaths per year due to influenza is 58 and 11 new deaths from Coovid-19 in just the last 24 hours are equal to almost 20 percent of an average full year of influenza data and should not be taken lightly.

Cochrane is holding at 44 active cases while Rocky View County saw a drop of nine for a total of 77 active cases.