As more Albertans continue to get vaccinated, Airdrie experienced a slight decline in active cases of COVID-19, with 647 infections reported May 13 – down three since May 11.
According to numbers updated daily on airdrie.ca, there have been a total of 3,477 cases of the virus locally since the pandemic began. Of those, 2,813 people have recovered and 17 deaths have been reported.
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As students in Kindergarten to Grade 12 resume learning from home this week, cases are confirmed at 17 schools in Airdrie, according to the provincial COVID-19 status map. Heloise Lorimer School, George McDougall High School, Bert Church High School and A.E. Bowers Elementary School are all listed under "outbreak" status, with more than 10 cases reported. École francophone d'Airdrie, Nose Creek Elementary School, École Edwards Elementary School, Our Lady Queen of Peace Elementary School, St. Martin de Porres High School, Herons Crossing School, Ralph McCall School and Windsong Heights School are all listed under "outbreak" status with five to nine cases reported.
St. Veronica School, W.H. Croxford High School, Footprints For Learning Society, Meadowbrook Middle School and École Airdrie Middle School are all listed under "alert" status, with two to four cases reported.
According to Alberta.ca, 1,558 new cases were identified May 13, meaning there are 24,586 active cases in the province. The reported provincial numbers indicate 722 patients are in hospital with the virus and 177 Albertans are in intensive care units – a record number since the pandemic began.
In terms of the more contagious COVID-19 variants of concern, the provincial total currently sits at 7,519 active cases. Variant cases accounted for roughly 30 per cent of active cases in Alberta as of May 9.
In total, 2,132 deaths have been reported in Alberta from COVID-19, as of May 12.
On the vaccination front, Alberta recently reached a milestone of two million doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered. According to government data, 2,019,713 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in Alberta, as of May 12. To date, 322,427 Albertans have been fully immunized with both doses of a vaccine.
Outside Airdrie city limits, Rocky View County's COVID-19 infections rose this week, with 294 active cases reported May 13 – an increase of 13 since May 11.
Twelve schools in RVC are on the provincial COVID-19 status map; Edge School, Springbank Community High School, Bearspaw School, Prince of Peace Lutheran School in Conrich, Elbow Valley Elementary School, W.G. Murdoch High School, Langdon School, Beiseker Community School, Sarah Thompson School, Crossfield Elementary School and Indus School.
Out west, Cochrane reported a decrease in cases with 205 reported May 12, down 12 since May 10. According to the school status map, seven Cochrane schools have confirmed COVID-19 outbreaks. Bow Valley High School, RancheView school and Cochrane High School are all listed under "outbreak" status, reporting more than 10 cases each. Cochrane Christian Academy are also listed under "outbreak" status, reporting five to nine cases at each school. Glenbow Elementary School, Fireside school and Elizabeth Barrett Elementary School are all listed under "alert" status, having reported two to four active cases.
On the east side of the county, Chestermere reported 203 active cases as of May 12, an increase of 22 since May 10. Seven area schools are listed on the provincial COVID-19 status map; Chestermere Lake Middle School, Prairie Waters Elementary School and Chestermere High School are all listed under "outbreak" status, with 10 or more cases reported. St. Gabriel the Archangel, Our Lady of Wisdom and East Lake School are also listed under "outbreak" status, reporting five to nine cases. Rainbow Creek Elementary School is listed under "alert" status, reporting between two and four active cases.
Alberta's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, announced during her daily update on May 13 that rules have been updated for those seeking mask-wearing exemptions.
"Individuals are only exempt from wearing a mask in public places in certain circumstances," she said. "These include being unable to put on or take off a mask independently, if someone is eating or drinking while sitting down, if there is an occupational risk for wearing a mask, and other specific situations."
Hinshaw said there are a very limited number of health issues for which a mask exemption is possible. She listed sensory processing disorders, developmental delays or cognitive impairment, mental illness disorders, facial trauma or recent oral or jaw surgery, contact dermatitis or allergic reactions to mask components and clinically significant acute respiratory distress as health issues that are cause for mask exemption.
"Effective today [May 13], in order to verify that someone has a medical condition that makes them unable to wear a mask, Albertans with these conditions will require a medical exception letter from a health professional," she said. "This letter is important to have, especially if requested by enforcement officials for not complying with the legal requirement to wear a mask in indoor public spaces."