Ten new cases of COVID-19 were reported across the Lakeland on Mar. 1 according to the data provided by the province of Alberta’s COVID-19 tracking map.
The bulk of those cases were in Smoky Lake County, which has a total of 148 active cases, six in the past 24 hours.
Lac La Biche has one new case for a total of 21 active, Bonnyville has one new case for a total of 27 active, and St. Paul has two new cases for a total of 44 active.
Cold Lake has 21 active cases, Two Hills has one active case, and Vermilion has two active cases.
Across the province, there were 257 new cases reported in the past 24 hours including 35 variant cases. There are 261 people in hospital including 54 in the intensive care units. Two people died.
The positivity rate for Alberta remains at 4.5 per cent.
Vaccine booking tool to be down for two hours
According to Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the online booking tool for COVID-19 vaccinations will be down for maintenance and upgrades from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. on Mar. 3.
“This upgrade will improve the capacity online booking systems, helping ensure Albertans are able to book their immunization appointments, as seamlessly and efficiently as possible,” said Hinshaw, noting the timeframe for the upgrade was chosen “to cause the least disruption to the online booking process.”
35 per cent of active cases from unknown source
Roughly 35 per cent of the active cases of COVID-19 in Alberta come from an unknown source of transmission according to Dr. Deena Hinshaw. Hinshaw said it is difficult at this point to know how much of that is a result of the restrictions eased in Step One and how much is the result of people not being willing to follow the restrictions any longer.
“What we know is that the opportunity for the virus to spread from one person to many happens where we have people together outside of the same household for one person is infectious and the virus can just take off in those settings which is why we’ve continued to put limits in place to prevent that from happening,” said Hinshaw.
She said while some transmission is likely from people participating in activities which are not allowed, it is important to stress that the vast majority of Albertans continue to follow the restrictions and work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Hinshaw declined to give a specific number of unknown transmissions which would be “too high” but instead focused on the need to reduce transmission overall and emphasized the importance of working with provincial contact tracers.
“I understand, especially when people get a phone call from a case investigator, sometimes those phone calls can be quite long and I completely understand people may feel impatient and want to end the phone call and not for any ill reasons just because it does take a long time. But I really encourage people if you are identified as a case or a contact, and you’re asked to provide some of this information that information is absolutely critical to our ability to controlling the spread of COVID-19, and to our ability to move forward and potentially easing more restrictions,” said Hinshaw.
Cases and close contacts may be asked to detail where they have been and when and who they have seen at those places in the previous 14 days, as well as for contact information for the people they had close contacts with.