Alberta has surpassed 1,900 deaths from COVID-19.
The province announced 12 additional deaths due to the virus Wednesday, bringing the death toll to 1,902 since the start of the pandemic.
There were also an additional 402 cases of COVID-19 reported, on about 10,400 tests, for a test positivity rate of 3.9 per cent.
Red Deer is at 409 active cases of the virus, down about 150 from last week.
Alberta has 4,649 active cases, while the Central zone sits at 590 active cases. Red Deer has about 69 per cent of the Central zone’s active cases and 8.7 per cent of Alberta’s active caseload.
The province also reported 508 cases of the variant as of Wednesday, with 114 in the Central zone.
There are 251 people in hospital across the province, including 28 in intensive care.
Hinshaw also announced that the province has extended the period between the first and second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, in accordance with the National Advisory Committee on Immunization. Hinshaw said starting next week, second dose appointments will now be spread out over four months.
“With the goal of providing first doses to all Albertans as soon as possible,” she said.
Hinshaw added that anyone who has already had a shot or booked their first dose will be eligible to get the second dose within 42 days of the first.
Hinshaw said the data now indicates that one dose of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine offers a huge boost in immunity. She said there is around 80 per cent protection from COVID-19 infection, after the first dose.
“The more people we can offer this protection to in the coming weeks and months, the more effective we will be at stopping spread.”
The province has administered about 255,280 doses of vaccines, with 89,00 fully immunized. In the last week alone, Alberta administered nearly 20,000 doses.
Hinshaw also said that she anticipates all Albertans over the age of 18 who are eligible should be able to receive the vaccine as early as this summer.
When looking at the province’s geospatial 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 25 active cases of the virus, Lacombe County has 32 active and Clearwater County sits at seven active.
Lacombe has 15 active and Sylvan Lake has 18 active cases, while Olds sits at six active. Mountain View County sits at 23 active, Kneehill County has five active and Drumheller has nine active.
Camrose County has no active cases and the County of Stettler sits at one active.
Camrose has no active and Wetaskiwin has three active.
In the local geographic area setting, Wetaskiwin County, including Maskwacis, has 27 active cases. Ponoka County, including east Ponoka County, has 17 active.
Rimbey, including west Ponoka County and partial Lacombe County has two active cases.
There are 227 schools with on COVID-19 alert or outbreak status. Those schools have had 872 cases since Jan. 11.