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Alberta

Alberta ramps up vaccine rollout

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Premier Jason Kenney

Alberta’s government will bring in four new measures starting immediately to ramp-up the COVID-19 vaccine rollout as infections and hospitalizations rise.

The new measures will mean about 500,000 more Albertans will be eligible to be vaccinated starting April 7.

“We are in a race between the vaccines and variants, and finally doses are arriving in significant numbers. We will use these to aggressively expand our rollout, speeding up the timelines and expanding the ways that we get the doses to Albertans. We will meet or surpass our promise to offer every adult a first dose by June 30.”

Jason Kenney, Premier

“Our health officials are working hard to make new shipments of vaccine available to Albertans as soon as they arrive. I strongly urge Albertans to get immunized as soon as they are eligible. When it’s your turn, please sign up for your shot, show up for your appointment and follow up for your second dose.”

Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health

Opening bookings to everyone in Phase 2B

Starting April 7 at 8 a.m., anyone born in 2005 or earlier with eligible underlying health conditions can book appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine at participating pharmacies or with Alberta Health Services (AHS) online or by calling 811.

Those currently eligible under Phase 2B are Albertans with underlying health conditions born in or before 1973. This amounts to about 150,000 Albertans. By expanding to those born in 2005 or before, 500,000 more Albertans will be eligible.

Information on eligible health conditions, including examples, is available at alberta.ca/vaccine.

AstraZeneca vaccine available for Albertans 55+

Albertans aged 55 to 64 who do not have a chronic health condition can now make an appointment to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Effective immediately, anyone born between 1957 and 1966 can book appointments at participating pharmacies across the province. AHS will also begin booking appointments starting on Monday, April 12.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is safe and effective at reducing severe illness from COVID-19. The rare blood clots reported in Europe have not been reported in Canada, and risk of COVID-19 infection is far greater than any vaccine risk.

Based on current evidence, Albertans who are 55 and older who are diagnosed with COVID-19 are at least 10 times more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit from COVID-19, and at least 45 times more likely to need hospital treatment for COVID-19, than they are to experience any form of the rare, treatable blood clots reported in Europe.

Eligible Albertans in this phase can choose to wait to receive a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine to be available to them when Phase 2D opens in May.

Rapid flow clinics

Bookings for rapid flow clinics in Grand Prairie, Fort McMurray, Red Deer, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat will open on Friday, April 9. More clinics will open in Edmonton and Calgary next week.

Bookings can be made with Alberta Health Services (AHS) online or by calling 811.

Pharmacy walk-ins

Alberta will soon expand its vaccine rollout at participating pharmacies to allow walk-in bookings, rather than those by appointment only. Additional information will be shared when pharmacy walk-ins become available next week.

Alberta’s government is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by protecting lives and livelihoods with precise measures to bend the curve, sustain small businesses and protect Alberta’s health-care system.

This is a news release from the Government of Alberta.

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Alberta

Gustavsson leads AHL Senators in 4-2 win over Heat

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CALGARY — Filip Gustavsson stopped 30 shots as the Belleville Senators doubled up the Stockton Heat 4-2 on Wednesday in American Hockey League play.

Lassi Thomson, Egor Sokolov, Mark Kastelic and Parker Kelly scored to help the Senators (8-12-1) halt a three-game slide.

Matthew Phillips and Zac Leslie replied for the Heat (10-12-1).

Garret Sparks stopped 28-of-31 shots for Stockton.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 14, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Calgary schools to shift to at-home learning for grades 7 to 12 due to COVID-19

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CALGARY — The Alberta government says schools in Calgary will move to at-home learning starting Monday for students in grades 7 to 12.

The change, due to COVID-19, is to last for two weeks.

Alberta Education said Wednesday that it approved requests from public and Catholic schools in the city to make the move to online learning.

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange said in a release that some school boards are dealing with operational pressures due to rising COVID-19 cases.

“The safety of students and staff is my top priority, which is why I am responding to the boards’ requests and respecting their autonomy,” she said.

“By having a clear process in place, we are giving them flexibility to move to at-home learning when necessary.”

The province said it has not closed any schools for health reasons, and any decision to move a portion of a school to at-home learning is at the discretion of each school board.

About 19 per cent of schools have COVID-19 alerts or outbreaks. Nine schools are currently doing online learning.

Marilyn Dennis, board chair with the Calgary Board of Education, said in the release that the greatest impacts of COVID-19 have been in schools with higher grades.

Alberta’s chief medical health officer, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, also said there has been a sharp rise in cases among school-aged Albertans.

The province, with 15,569 active infections, currently has the highest rate of active cases in Canada.

On Wednesday, the province reported 1,412 new cases of COVID-19 and eight additional deaths due to the virus. There were 420 people in hospital due to COVID-19, with 92 in intensive care.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 14, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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