Premier Kenny and Minister Shandro made a couple of announcements today including the easing of restrictions to continuing care facility visits.

The change will go into effect on May 10 and Health Minister Shandro says it is a cautious but safe approach to allowing residents to have more visitors.

The decision is based on the fact that residents in continuing care facilities have now received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine and a minimum of two weeks have passed since second doses were administered thus allowing for the restrictions to be relaxed.

The second announcement included that vaccinations will be expanded to include 15,000 meatpacking plant workers starting as early as tomorrow (Tuesday, April 27). Distribution will happen through onsite clinics, pharmacies, and AHS clinics. 

Thirdly, youth born between 2006 and 2009 with underlying health conditions are now eligible to book appointments for their COVID-19 vaccine. A doctor’s note is required to book an appointment with participating pharmacies and AHS. Such conditions include; chronic, heart, lung, liver, or kidney disease, severe learning or developmental delays, and those who have been diagnosed with cancer in the last year. 

The COVID-19 numbers update for Monday, April 26 saw 1,495 new cases reported in the past 24 hours with a positivity rate of 9.7%.

There are now 616 people in the hospital with 145 in ICU.

There were 1,542 variants of concern identified in the past 24 hours which now account for 64% of the total active cases. 

Another seven deaths were reported bringing the total in the province to 2,074.

Alberta has reached 20,610 active cases marker. To date, 25.6 % of Albertans have received one dose of vaccine.

Cochrane saw an increase of three cases since Friday for a total of 154 and Rocky View County added 12 cases since Friday for a total of 180.