Following the rise of COVID-19 variants of concern across the province, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced on Tuesday, April 6 the province would move back to Step One of COVID restrictions.
Premier Kenney also announced the expansion of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, which will now include those 16 and older with an underlying health condition which may cause more severe outcomes from contracting COVID-19.
“We are in a race between the vaccine and the variants, right now the variants are winning that race,” Premier Kenney said during an update on the ongoing vaccine rollout on Monday, April 12.
Premier Kenney also announced more than 240,000 healthcare workers are now able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine under Phase 2C, and additional groups will become eligible in the coming weeks.
“We are determined to meet or surpass our commitment to offer every adult a first dose by June 30,” he stated.
While the province continues to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine, three variants of concern continue to spread rapidly through the province with more than 50 per cent of all active cases in the province now identified as a variant of concern. Currently there are 828 active cases which are variants of concern within the Central Zone, which includes the Town of Drumheller--however, further geographic breakdown of variant cases is unavailable.
“These variants are still new, but what we know from current evidence is these three variants of concern are more transmissible than the earlier form of the virus,” Dr. Hinshaw said during an update on Thursday, April 8.
Following an increase in local cases from March 2021, the Town of Drumheller has now surpassed 400 total cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.
As of Monday, April 12 there are 21 active cases and 387 recovered cases of COVID-19 locally, which includes three active and 176 recovered cases at the Drumheller Institution. There are currently six active cases in Wheatland County, 10 active cases in Starland County, and 25 active cases in Kneehill County.