Following the announcement yesterday that hospitalization rates and vaccinations will be the benchmark for moving forward into the three stages of reopening, today's numbers complied.
- Hospitalizations dropped by 10 cases for a total of 538. ICU admissions decreased by seven for a total of 150.
- To date, 2,615,747 doses of the COVID vaccine have been administered. Which accounts for 50.4 percent of the population receiving one dose and 8.1 per cent of Albertans have been fully immunized with two doses.
- The province reported 513 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours with a positivity rate of 6.1 per cent.
- One additional death was reported bringing the total in the province to 2,199.
- Cochrane continues to see a decrease in active cases with a drop of 12 for a total of 43. Rocky View County also saw a decrease of 13 active cases for a total of 120.
Premier Kenney took to the podium to deliver the government's position that the road to reopening is through vaccines but emphasized that vaccination is an individual choice and that the government is not coercing citizens to be immunized. However, he did say, "None of that changes the fundamental fact that the most powerful way that you can protect yourself your family, loved ones, friends, and neighbours and the most powerful thing you can do and accelerate the return to normal is to get the safe vaccine."
Dr Hinshaw explained that she was not at the announcement yesterday due to familial responsibilities but made it perfectly clear that she and her team were a part of the reopening plan and that she is behind its implementation.
"My team and I were fully engaged in the development of this plan. We looked closely at the evidence seen in other countries, including Hungary, Israel, the UK, and several US states, as well as other Canadian provinces that had announced their opening plans. I believe this plan is a prudent approach to re-opening, with Stage 1 prioritizing the easing of low-risk outdoor activities and only proceeding to the next stage as thresholds are met and the two-week window ends. This stage is much more cautious than what you see in our neighbouring provinces, B.C and Saskatchewan, and their easing of Stage 1 because we have recently had higher cases."
Hinshaw also explained that Alberta's reopening plan is based on the vaccination percentage of all Albertans aged 12 years of age and older as opposed to neighbouring provinces which are basing reopening on individuals 18 years of age and older.