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Airdrie jumps to 77 active COVID-19 cases, as Health Canada approves Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Airdrie's active COVID-19 cases jumped 11 since March 2 as there are now 77 reported.

Airdrie has seen a slight spike in active COVID-19 cases this week, adding 11 cases since March 2 for a total of 77, as of March 4.

According to figures posted on Airdrie.ca, there have been 1,894 total cases reported in the city so far. To date, 1,811 Airdronians have recovered from the virus and 17 deaths have been reported.

Cases are currently confirmed in three Airdrie schools. According to the provincial COVID-19 status map, École Edwards Elementary School and Herons Crossing School are each listed under "alert" status, meaning they have reported two to four cases each. R.J. Hawkey Elementary School has also been added to the list under "alert" status.

Across the province, according to alberta.ca, 331 new cases of COVID-19 were identified on March 4, with a test positivity rate of 3.6 per cent. The new numbers mean there were 4,631 active cases in Alberta as of March 4, and a total of 134,785 cases since the pandemic began.

According to the Province, 128,261 Albertans have recovered from COVID-19, 245 patients are in hospital with the virus and 47 Albertans are in intensive care units. In total, 1,911 deaths have been reported in Alberta from COVID-19.

Outside of Airdrie, Rocky View County (RVC) also saw a recent bump in active cases, reporting 23 as of March 3. Three schools in RVC are on the provincial COVID-19 status map. Khalsa School Calgary Educational Foundation in Conrich is on the COVID-19 school status map under "outbreak" status, with five to nine active cases. Springbank Middle School is on the list under "alert" status, with two to four cases. Edge School in Springbank has been added to the list under "alert" status.

On the east side of RVC, Chestermere reported 19 active cases as of March 3. Rainbow Creek Elementary School is listed under "alert" status on the government's COVID-19 school status map, while Chestermere Lake Middle School is listed under "outbreak" status. 

Cochrane's COVID-19 numbers have shot up nearly three times its number from March 2, and the town is now reporting 30 active cases, as of March 4.

Regarding variant COVDI-19 cases, Alberta identified 33 additional cases of variants of concern on March 4, bringing the provincial total to 541. These include 531 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant (which originated in the United Kingdom) and 10 cases of the B.1.1351 South African variant.

On the vaccination front, as of March 3, 266,231 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered in Alberta, according to government figures. To date, 89,786 Albertans are fully immunized with two doses of a vaccine. Since vaccinations in the province started, 117 adverse events following immunization have been reported to Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services.

On March 5, Health Canada announced it has approved the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, which differs from other approved vaccines in that recipients only require one dose. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine marks the fourth approved in Canada, following the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the Moderna vaccine and the Oxford/Astra-Zeneca vaccine.

The federal government has ordered 10 million doses from Johnson & Johnson, according to a CBC report, with options for ordering up to 28 million more doses.