Dr. Hinshaw provided the COVID-19 numbers update for Monday, March, 29 and was as follows.
- There were 545 new cases reported in the past 24 hours after about 8,300 tests were performed for a positivity rate of 6.5%.
- There were 249 variants of concern reported which now account for 27% of all new cases.
- There are 288 people in the hospital with 64 in ICU.
- There were no new deaths reported.
- Rocky View County reported another 10 cases for a total of 92.
- Cochrane added four news cases for a total of 33.
Dr. Hinshaw also provided an update on vaccines announcing that the province will be temporarily suspending Astra Zeneca vaccinations. "Following extensive discussions with our provincial and federal partners, Alberta is temporarily pausing the use of AstraZeneca in anyone under the age of 55. This is a precautionary measure that is being taken across Canada. As I mentioned to you last week, there have been some rare instances of blood clots reported in Europe that require more investigation. While all available data and evidence show no increase in the overall risk of blood clots for those who receive AstraZeneca, in a very small number of people who received the vaccine, a blood clot in the brain was reported 4 to 20 days after the vaccine. These incidents are rare, and at this point seem to be linked to AstraZeneca, possibly through an immune response. There is no evidence of any similar issues linked to the other vaccines that we are using in Alberta."
It was also announced, that starting tomorrow, Phase 2B of the vaccine rollout will begin. Individuals included in this group are those that have underlying health conditions that put them at greater risk of severe outcomes from the virus. This means that cancer patients, transplant recipients, individuals with severe disabilities, dementia, and other conditions will be able to get the vaccine. The list of recipients is long and to view the complete list go to alberta.ca/vaccine.