The number of active COVID-19 cases in Cochrane has dropped by another 16 cases to 160, and Rocky View County decreased by 11 to 259.

As of May 16, there were 721 new cases and a total of 21,288 active cases across Alberta. To date, 196,246 Albertans have recovered, and there have been 2,148 deaths.

There are 678 people are currently hospitalized due to the virus, including 181 in intensive care.

Early this afternoon, Premier Jason Kenney says getting a COVID-19 shot is the ticket back to life becoming closer to normal in Alberta.

During an early afternoon update, the Premier, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw, and Dr. Verna Yiu, president and chief executive officer of Alberta Health Services, provided data on the critical pressure being placed upon the health care system and did a little myth-busting.

Kenney dangled a carrot in front of Albertans to encourage them to get in line for a vaccination.

"I anticipate later this week we'll be announcing potentially a relaxation of self-isolation quarantine requirements with respect to people based on whether they've had a first or second dose of the vaccine, that will reflect the lower level of risk that they pose."

Among the "myth" targets was the belief by some that it's an urban problem.

Kenney provided data that indicated otherwise.

"Since February of this year, hospitalization rates are 26 per cent higher and ICU rates are 30 per cent higher in rural areas than in urban ones," he stated.

The Alberta Government has also launched a new map that indicates how many people have been vaccinated on a regional basis.

According to the map, the Cochrane-Springbank local geographical area has seen 44.7 per cent of residents, or 23,417, receive at least one dose of the vaccine. 

That's above the Alberta average of 42.2 per cent.

A total of 2,217,446 doses have been administered so far, and 7.4 per cent of the population is now fully immunized.

There have 2,593 vaccine refusals and 790 contraindications because the treatment would be risky to their health.

A total of 346 adverse events have followed immunization, 234 related to Pfizer, 77 related to Moderna, and 35 related to AstraZeneca.​​​​​​