New COVID-19 cases continue to trend downwards with 355 reported on Monday in Alberta.
On the weekend, there were 461 new cases on Sunday, and 383 on Saturday.
The province now has 7,387 active cases of the virus, and a total of 115,527 recovered cases throughout the pandemic. The provincial death toll climbed to 1,649 with 10 more deaths reported Monday.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province’s chief medical officer of health, said there were now 51 variant cases of COVID – either the United Kingdom or South African variant.
Six variant cases in three different unrelated households had no clear link to travel.
She said even though it’s an increase of 14 variant cases since Friday, not all of them were new cases. Some were historical.
“It’s not an escalating number from the perspective of local transmission,” Hinshaw said.
But she said officials are looking at whether or not there may need to be some additional precautions taken when there is a variant of concern, or a close contact of the infected individual.
“There will be more information coming on that soon.”
The City of Red Deer had 190 active COVID-19 cases, which was three more than Sunday, according to geospatial mapping on the provincial government’s website.
Red Deer County had 68 active cases, Sylvan Lake had 30, the City of Lacombe had 18, Lacombe County had 31, Clearwater County had 61, Mountain View County had 11, Olds had five and Stettler County had six.
In the local geographic area setting of the mapping available on the government’s website, Wetaskiwin County, including Maskwacis had 162 active cases. Ponoka, including East Ponoka County, had 15 active cases, while Rimbey, which includes West Ponoka County and partial Lacombe County, had two.
Central zone had 709 active COVID-19 cases, with 46 people in hospital, of which six were in intensive care.
Provincially, 556 people hospitalized due to COVID-19, with 102 of them in intensive care units.
Hinshaw said the decline in hospitalizations over the weekend, and the drop in new cases among the school-age population were both encouraging.
“Looking at last week, on average 71 new cases were identified each day among school age Albertans, down from 131 daily cases we saw on average the week before school started in person.
“So far, returning to school in person has not caused increased spread in this age group.”