Fort McMurray Adding 46 New COVID-19 Cases, Province Expecting Vaccines To Be Available For Most Vulnerable in January

Fort McMurray is adding 46 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, announced on Wednesday 1,685 new cases across the province.

This raises the provincial total to 61,169 with 17,144 currently active. There are also 504 Albertans in the hospital for the virus, 97 of which are in ICUs.

Locally, along with the new cases, Fort McMurray added 15 recoveries which puts the active total at 239.

The rural areas saw one new case and 16 additional recoveries which lowers the total of active cases to 10.

In total, 658 individuals across the RMWB – 561 in Fort McMurray and 97 in the rural areas – have recovered.

They are among the 43,464 who’ve recovered across the province. This represents just over 71 per cent of reported cases.

There were also 10 new deaths from COVID-19 in Alberta over the past day – raising the total to 561.

To date, two individuals in Fort McMurray have died as a result of the virus.

Vaccine Timeline

Premier Jason Kenney also spoke on Wednesday where he outlined the province’s plan to provide vaccines to all Albertans in 2021.

The vaccines being created by Pfizer and Moderna still need approval from the federal government, however, Kenney says early talks suggest the province should get its first shipment early in January.

Right now, there are 30 vaccine depots across Alberta with 13 currently able to distribute the Moderna vaccine. Three of these depots are also able to work with the Pfizer vaccine which needs colder refrigeration.

At this time, they plan on providing two doses to around 10 per cent of the population from January to March. This represents around 435,000 Albertans.

“Both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two doses to be fully effective, separated by three to six weeks,” added Kenney.

The GoA is focusing on providing early vaccines to residents and staff of long-term and designated supported living facilities, seniors over the age of 75, on-reserve First Nations individuals over the age of 65, and healthcare workers at high risk of contracting the virus.

The province expects to have around 30 per cent of the population vaccinated by the end of September.

Kenney noted they’re hoping to make the vaccine available to the general public during the fall of 2021.

“All of us will have to continue following public health guidelines even after the first wave of vaccinations have occurred.”

Meanwhile, the province has no plans on making the vaccine mandatory.

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