Airdrie has been listed as a regional "hot spot" by the Alberta government, as the city continues to experience a climb in COVID-19 cases.
Airdrie has reported 369 active cases as of April 29, up 27 from April 25. To date, 2,775 Airdronians have recovered from COVID-19 and 17 deaths have been reported. Statistics updated daily on Airdrie.ca indicate there have been 2,389 total cases of the virus reported in the city since March 2020.
On April 29, Premier Jason Kenney announced new targeted restrictions will apply to municipalities or regions where there are at least 350 cases per 100,000 people and 250 active cases. Airdrie has a rate of 511 cases per 100,000 population – the fifth highest rate of infections in Alberta.
“We have no choice but to implement these targeted measures to slow growth and bend the curve and protect our health system over the next few weeks," Kenney said in a government press release. "These measures are layered on top of Alberta’s robust public health restrictions and will buy a little more time for our vaccination program to protect more Albertans and win the race against the variants. We must respond with a firm stand against COVID-19 now so that we can enjoy a great Alberta summer.”
The new targeted measures include restrictions on indoor sports, performance and fitness activities. As well, Grade 7 to 12 students in hot spot regions must transition to online learning, starting May 3.
"I hope that these measures, together with everything else that's been in place will be sufficient," Kenney said during the press conference.
The restrictions will last for at least two weeks. Future updates for active case rates for municipalities and a map of those under enhanced restrictions will be available at alberta.ca
Other than Airdrie, "hot spots" in Alberta where the new restrictions will apply include Fort McMurray, Red Deer, Grande Prairie, Calgary, Edmonton, Strathcona County and Lethbridge.
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"If, after two weeks, the case rate falls below the threshold of 350 cases per 100,000 people, these targeted measures will be removed and only current provincewide restrictions will apply," the press release stated. "If a municipality goes below the threshold measure of 350 cases per 100,000 people before the two weeks are finished, the enhanced restrictions will still apply until the two-week period is over."
As of April 30, cases are still confirmed at 10 schools in Airdrie, according to the provincial COVID-19 status map. A.E. Bowers Elementary School is listed under "outbreak" status, with 10 or more active cases, while École francophone d'Airdrie, St. Martin de Porres High School, Our Lady Queen of Peace School and Windsong Heights School are experiencing outbreaks of five to nine active cases. Nose Creek Elementary, W.H. Croxford High School, Ralph McCall School, Ecole Edwards Elementary School and C.W. Perry School are all listed under "alert" status, reporting two to four active cases.
Provincially, Alberta reported its highest single-day case increase in new cases since the pandemic began on April 29. According to Alberta.ca, 2,048 new cases were identified on April 28, meaning there are 21,385 active cases in the province. The reported provincial numbers indicate 632 patients are in hospital with the virus and 151 Albertans are in intensive care units.
In total, 2,075 deaths have been reported in Alberta from COVID-19, as of April 28.
In terms of the more contagious COVID-19 variants of concern, the provincial total currently sits at 13,460 active cases. Variant cases accounted for roughly 62 per cent of active cases in Alberta as of April 25.
While infections continue to increase, so too do the number of vaccines administered in Alberta. According to government data, 1,528,569 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in Alberta as of April 28. To date, 6.4 per cent of Albertans have been fully immunized.
Rocky View County's COVID-19 numbers rose this week, with 211 active cases reported as of April 28 – an increase of 31 from April 25. Nine schools in RVC are on the provincial COVID-19 status map; Springbank Middle School, Edge School, Springbank Community High School, Bearspaw School, Prince of Peace Lutheran School in Conrich, Elbow Valley Elementary School, Langdon School, Beiseker Community School and Indus School.
On the east side of the county, Chestermere reported 125 active cases as of April 28. Three area schools are listed on the provincial COVID-19 status map; Chestermere Lake Middle School is experiencing an outbreak of 10 or more cases, St. Gabriel the Archangel School is experiencing an outbreak of five to nine cases and Prairie Waters Elementary School Is also experiencing an outbreak of five to nine active cases.
Out west, Cochrane reported 178 active cases of the virus as of April 28. According to the school status map, seven Cochrane schools have confirmed COVID-19 outbreaks. Bow Valley High School and Cochrane High School are experiencing outbreaks of 10 or more cases each. St. Timothy High School is listed with an outbreak of five to nine active cases. Cochrane Christian Academy and RancheView School have also reported an outbreak with five to nine cases reported. Glenbow Elementary School and Manachaban Middle School are also listed on the government's COVID-19 school status map, with two to four active cases each.