Health Minister Tyler Shandro started Thursday's COVID-19 update by strongly voicing his frustration with the federal government's inability to supply enough vaccine to Alberta.
"For the third time this month, the Federal government has notified us through bureaucratic channels that Alberta's Pfizer vaccine allocation will be slashed yet again. This is a grim situation that seems to be getting worse with every passing week." Shandro says that they have been told that there will be 63,000 fewer doses coming for the first quarter of the rollout.
Following that bad news, Dr. Deena HInshaw provided some good news with regards to seasonal influenza. To date, there still has not been one case of seasonal influenza reported in Alberta. Hinshaw says that is it not due to a lack of testing, as it is up by 300%. The eradication of the flu falls directly on the health restrictions that are in place in the province.
While we’d hoped there would be fewer influenza cases this year, what we have actually seen is that the public health measures put in place in these last 11 months have truly stopped seasonal influenza in its tracks. This is a good thing and a testament to the hard work and sacrifices of so many. At the same time, the lack of flu cases this year also underscores the differences between the two viruses, and how dangerous COVID-19 truly is. The measures that we have put in place to fight COVID-19 are unprecedented in Alberta’s history. Yet, despite these steps, there have still been more than 122,000 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed in the province so far.
The COVID-19 numbers were as follows:
- There were 461 new cases after over 12,300 tests were performed for a positivity rate of 3.9%.
- There are 591 people in the hospital with 112 of those in ICU.
- There were seven additional deaths reported bringing that sad total to 1,606.
- There are 300 schools in the province with active alerts which accounts for 12% in the province. There are a total of 593 cases of the virus in provincial schools.
- Cochrane is holding at 20 active cases.
- Rocky View County dropped two for a total of 62 active cases.
- As of January 27, Nakoda Emergency Management reports one new case with 11 recovered and a total of 90 active cases.