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Airdrie reports 342 active COVID-19 cases, restrictions to soon ease at continuing care facilities

Airdrie has reported 342 active cases of COVID-19, which is a gain of 29 since April 22.

Airdrie has reported 342 active cases of COVID-19, which is a gain of 29 infections since April 22. 

To date, 2,667 Airdronians have recovered from COVID-19 and 17 deaths have been reported. Statistics updated daily on Airdrie.ca indicate there have been 2,308 total cases of the virus reported in the city since March 2020.

COVID-19 UPDATES: See the latest local and global COVID-19 information.

As of April 26, 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 Northcott Prairie School, Nose Creek Elementary School and École francophone d'Airdrie are experiencing outbreaks of five to nine active cases. École Airdrie Middle School, St. Martin de Porres High School, C.W. Perry School, Windsong Hieghts School, W.H. Croxford High School and Ralph McCall School have been listed under "alert" status, meaning they are each reporting two to four active cases. 

Provincially, case counts continue to rise. According to Alberta.ca, 1,495 new cases were identified on April 26, meaning there are 20,610 active cases in the province. The reported provincial numbers indicate 616 patients are in hospital with the virus and 145 Albertans are in intensive care units.

In total, 2,074 deaths have been reported in Alberta from COVID-19 as of April 25.

In terms of the more contagious COVID-19 variants of concern, the provincial total currently sits at 13,187 active cases. Variant cases accounted for roughly 64 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, 1,419,188 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in Alberta as of April 25. To date, 274,289 Albertans are fully immunized with two doses of a vaccine.

Rocky View County's COVID-19 numbers have risen slightly this week, with 180 active cases reported as of April 26 – an increase of four since April 22. Seven 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 and Langdon School.

On the east side of the county, Chestermere reported 129 active cases as of April 26. 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 154 active cases of the virus as of April 26. 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.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said during a press conference on April 26 that restrictions in long-term care facilities will begin to ease next month.

"Since the start of this pandemic, elderly folks have faced one of the toughest burdens," he said. "This virus is merciless. The seniors in continuing care and other facilities have been at the highest risk for serious outcomes from the virus."

Sixty-one per cent of deaths in Alberta from COVID-19 were residents in continuing care, he added.

"That is more than 1,200 grandfathers, grandmothers, brothers and sisters who lost their lives to this virus," Kenney said. "There is no question the restrictions we put in place were necessary and helped saved lives."

Kenney said the Province also knows the restrictions have come at a cost.

"These folks need joy, hope and connection just like everyone else," he said. 

With the number of vaccinations given to the most vulnerable population, Kenney said he feels it is safe to take a step forward and allow for more restrictions at continuing care facilities.

Starting May 10, the Province will implement a new public health order allowing for an increased number of designated support persons who can be part of their loved ones' care team in a continuing care facility from two to four people. It will also allow for small indoor and larger outdoor visitation if residents feel it is safe to do so.