The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Monday afternoon and urged residents to get their vaccine jabs for a shot at three $1 million prizes.
There are now 3,089 active cases of the virus in the province, to go along with 225,219 recovered cases. One new death was reported Monday — a woman in her 40s in Central zone died on June 12. The province’s COVID death toll sits at 2,270.
The City of Red Deer is down to 114 active cases, which is one fewer than Sunday, according to geospatial mapping on the provincial government’s website.
Meanwhile, Premier Jason Kenney released more details on the province’s vaccination lotteries in a news conference on Monday.
Starting Monday, any Albertan 18 and older who has received a first vaccine dose can register to enter for the first $1 million prize. Eligibility will close seven days after the province hits its target of 70 per cent first-dose vaccinations for all Albertans 12 and older.
Once 70 per cent is reached, and the vaccines have two weeks to take full effect, the province plans to lift all but a handful of health restrictions, essentially returning the economy and community to its pre-COVID state.
As of Monday, 68.7 per cent of Albertans had received at least one dose. The province expects to hit the 70 per cent target by Friday, which would mean those entering the lottery have until June 25.
The first $1-million lottery draw will be held on the day the restrictions lift, likely at the end of June or early July. To enter the lottery go to alberta.ca/lottery.
To encourage people to continue to get vaccinated two other lotteries will follow in August and September. Any Albertan over the age of 18 who has received both doses will be eligible.
The first second-dose lottery winner will be announced on Aug. 31 and the final second-dose winner on Sept. 30.
Kenney says 48,000 more Albertans must step up for a first dose of COVID vaccine to fully lift health restrictions, and hopes his new lottery plan will be that incentive.
“The more people we can get vaccinated more quickly, the safer we all are,” Kenney said.
Kenney said he asked Health Minister Tyler Shandro a month ago to devise an incentive plan, knowing that demand for first doses would drop off.
“We knew a point would come when we would run out of low-hanging fruit in terms of people who were eager to get the jab, and we reached that point about a week, two weeks ago,” said Kenney.
“I asked (Shandro’s) team to start getting creative about shaking the trees for that last 10 or 15 per cent (of the eligible population).
“Now is the time, exactly the right time, for us to start being creative, offering these incentives.”
The province is now in the second stage of its reopening plan, the most ambitious reopening program in Canada.
Museums, libraries, movie theatres, casinos and other entertainment venues reopened last week to limited capacity after being shuttered for months.
Restaurants can now have diners indoors as well as on the patio.
Kenney has said he would like to see Alberta fully reopened by early July so people can take part in signature festivals such as the Calgary Stampede.
Also Monday, Stampede officials announced the event, expected to run from July 9-18, would keep its attendance at half capacity. They said attendees could be required to show proof of vaccination or undergo rapid testing to enter some venues.
Staff and volunteers will also be required to wear masks and have rapid COVID-19 testing.
When looking at the province’s mapping for COVID-19 cases on the municipality setting, regions are defined by metropolitan areas, cities, urban service areas, rural areas and towns with approximately 10,000 or more people; smaller regions are incorporated into the corresponding rural area.
With that setting, Red Deer County has 21 active cases, Lacombe County has 17, the City of Lacombe has 10, Sylvan Lake has 10, Mountain View County has five, Olds has four, Clearwater County has 40 and Stettler County has four.
The City of Camrose has two active cases, Camrose County has five, Kneehill County has four, while Drumheller and Starland County have none.
On the local geographic area setting, Wetaskiwin County, including Maskwacis, has 52 active. Ponoka, including East Ponoka County, has six active cases and Rimbey, which includes West Ponoka County and parts of Lacombe County, has 14 active.
Provincially, 270 people are currently hospitalized by COVID-19, with 73 of them in an intensive care unit. In the Central zone, 25 are hospitalized, with six of those individuals in an ICU.
Overall, the Central zone has 366 active cases, while the Calgary zone has 1,283, the Edmonton zone has 750, the North zone has 570 and the South zone has 118.
—With files from The Canadian Press