After weeks of dramatic increases, Airdrie is now reporting a steady drop of COVID-19 cases, with 331 active infections as of May 25 – a drop of 156 cases since May 19.
According to numbers updated daily on airdrie.ca, there have been 3,741 cases of the virus locally since the pandemic began. Of those, 3,393 people have recovered and 17 deaths have been reported.
COVID-19 UPDATES: See the latest local and global COVID-19 information.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw said over the long weekend, while 16,000 tests took place, the Province noticed a small increase in people not showing up for their vaccine appointments.
"A one to three per cent no-show rate is typical, but Alberta Health Services (AHS) noted the provincial no-show rate rose to over four per cent over the last three days," she said. "This is likely related to the long weekend, and the wonderful weather we had. But I want to remind people the importance of cancelling their appointments with AHS or pharmacies if they are no longer able to attend them."
Hinshaw added the Province has now administered more than 2.55 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Locally, 31,423 Airdrie residents have been vaccinated with at least one dose as of May 24, according to the Province's vaccine map. About 41.3 per cent of Airdrie residents have received a vaccine, compared to a provincial average of 49.2 per cent.
"The more people who get immunized, the more successful that we will be at preventing waves in the future," Hinshaw said. "With more doses coming in, we are actively looking at more ways to reach key groups who may be having trouble accessing vaccine."
According to provincial data, numbers of cases and hospitalizations continue to dip across the board. Hinshaw said as three weeks have now passed since additional restrictions were put in effect, the numbers show the province's collective efforts are making a difference.
"We have seen a steady decline in new cases across the province, which is helping bring our active case count down, as well," she said. "In fact, active cases have declined 52 per cent from their peak earlier this month."
While no decision was made during her May 25 press conference, Alberta's top doctor said the Province is getting closer to easing restrictions. Government representatives, including Premier Jason Kenney and Health Minister Tyler Shandro, are scheduled to announce Alberta's reopening plan at 11:30 a.m. on May 26.
"After such a long pandemic, it’s natural for all of us to be eager, and anxious for that day to arrive as quickly as possible," Hinshaw said. "We are getting close, and the best thing that we can do is to drive the spread down further is to step up for vaccines and follow the public health measures."
Alberta reported 387 new infections on May 24. With 3,998 tests completed, the test positivity rate was 9.9 per cent. The new cases mean there are currently 12,078 active cases in the province, with 565 hospitalizations and 158 ICU admissions. According to the government's data, 2,192 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported since the pandemic began.
Province-wide, Alberta recorded an R value of 0.84 last week. The R value, also known as the reproduction number, describes whether cases are currently increasing, decreasing or staying the same. According to Alberta.ca, the value indicates the average number of people that someone with COVID-19 will infect.