Dr. Deena Hinshaw provided the COVID-19 update for Thursday, February 18.
- There were 415 new cases reported after 10,300 tests were performed for a positivity rate of 4.2%.
- Hospitalizations fell to 362 while ICU patient numbers also fell to 55.
- There are active alerts or outbreaks in 250 schools accounting for 10% of schools in the province.
- Sadly, there were seven more deaths reported bringing the total in the province to 1,805.
- To date, 155,500 vaccine doses have been administered with 58,000 Albertans being fully immunized with two doses.
- There were 14 UK variant cases reported bringing that total to 232, plus seven cases of the South African variant.
- Cochrane added another case for a total of ten while Rocky View County held at 35 active cases.
- Stoney Nakoda reported no new cases, three people have recovered, and 18 active cases.
Health Minister Shandro spoke and said, "The appearance and spread of the COVID-19 variants in Alberta is worrisome. We know that these variants are more contagious and will spread more readily throughout our province." He said there are 50 contact tracers assigned to just variant cases and they are ready to expand on that number if need be.
There was no update on the arrival of the vaccine or the next stage of the rollout. Nor any word on a date for Step Two of restrictions easement.