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Airdrie reports 158 active COVID-19 cases, Kenney urges compliance of health measures over Easter holiday

As the long Easter weekend kicks off and Premier Jason Kenney urges Albertans to avoid indoor gatherings and follow public health orders, Airdrie has reported another growth in COVID-19 cases.

As the long Easter weekend kicks off and Premier Jason Kenney urges Albertans to avoid indoor gatherings and follow public health orders, Airdrie has reported another growth in COVID-19 cases. The city is now reporting 158 active cases – a climb of 10 from March 28. 

A daily COVID-19 update page on Airdrie.ca states there have been 2,138 total cases of the virus reported in the city since March 2020. To date, 1,963 Airdronians have recovered from COVID-19 and 17 deaths have been reported.

As local public school students prepare for spring break next week, cases are confirmed at nine 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. Northcott Prairie School is also experiencing an outbreak, of five to nine active cases. R.J. Hawkey Elementary School, Atlas Learning Academy Ltd., Meadowbrook School, Ralph McCall School, Our Lady Queen of Peace Elementary School and St. Martin de Porres High School have all been listed under "alert" status, meaning they are reporting two to four active cases. 

Across the province, according to alberta.ca, 875 new cases were identified on April 1, with a test positivity rate of 6.5 per cent. The new cases mean there were 8,653 active cases in the province as of that date.

There have been a total of 146,885 cases in Alberta since the pandemic began. According to the reported provincial numbers, 292 patients are in hospital with the virus and 59 Albertans are in intensive care units. In total, 1,994 deaths have been reported in Alberta from COVID-19, including four new deaths identified April 1. 

Regarding variant COVID-19 cases, Alberta reported 322 additional cases of variants of concern on April 1, bringing the provincial total to 4,377, of which 2,820 are active. Variant cases now account for 32.6 per cent of active cases in the province.

On the vaccination front, 653,010 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in Alberta as of April 1, according to government figures. To date, 103,926 Albertans are fully immunized with two doses of a vaccine. 

Similar to Airdrie, Rocky View County's (RVC) number of COVID-19 cases also climbed recently, as 110 active cases were reported as April 1 – an increase of 18 from March 28. Six schools in RVC are currently on the provincial COVID-19 status map; Khalsa School Calgary Educational Foundation in Conrich, Springbank Middle School and Edge School in Springbank, Springbank Community High School, W.G. Murdoch School in Crossfield and Bearspaw School.

On the east side of the county, Chestermere reported 96 active cases as of April 1 – an increase of 23 from March 28. Two schools are listed on the provincial COVID-19 status map; Chestermere Lake Middle School is experiencing an outbreak of 10 or more cases, and St. Gabriel the Archangel School is experiencing an outbreak of five to nine cases. 

Out west, Cochrane reported 47 active cases of the virus as of April 1, while four Cochrane schools have confirmed COVID-19 outbreaks. Bow Valley High School is reporting an outbreak of the virus, with more than 10 cases confirmed, Cochrane High School is experiencing an outbreak of five to nine cases, and Elizabeth Barrett Elementary School, Fireside School and are also listed on the government's COVID-19 school status map, with two to four active cases each.

At a press conference on April 1, Kenney said Albertans must continue to follow public health orders as they settle in for the Easter long weekend. However, he said the government would not be adding additional restrictions or implementing any lockdown measures, despite the recent rapid climb in variant cases.

“As I’ve always said, compliance with the measures matters far, far more than the stringency of them,” he said.

“The plea is here, whatever the policy setting is, take it seriously. I think a lot of people believe this is pretty much over due to vaccines and weather and what they’re seeing in the [United] States and other factors, but our message today is, this is not over.”