Alberta Health confirmed Friday that a case of the COVID-19 variant has been identified in a Central zone school.
Due to confidentiality, the agency would not release the specific school or the city where the school is located. Five schools in the Calgary zone have also confirmed cases of the COVID-19 variant.
The province reported 314 new cases of COVID-19 over the past 24 hours and completed about 8,000 tests.
Central zone now has 37 variant cases, all of the U.K. variety. Alberta, overall has 171 cases of the variant.
Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Friday, while this is a concern, the province needs more data before drawing any conclusions about the variants.
“Because the volume of variant tests increased substantially in the last two weeks, more cases have been diagnosed. It is important to remember that we do not have similar results for Jan. positive samples, so cannot yet accurately determine the rate of growth,” Hinshaw said on Twitter.
“What we do know is that since Feb. 1, variant cases have accounted for about three per cent of all positive cases. Variants are a serious concern, but inaccurate interpretations of data do not help us understand our true current situation.”
There are now 2,125 active cases of the virus in the province, with 371 people in hospital, including 66 in intensive care. There were 16 additional deaths over the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 1,760 since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Central zone has 693 active cases of the virus, with 30 people in hospital, including five in the ICU.
Red Deer has 345 active cases of the virus, with 1,823 recovered and 2190 cases overall.
On the government website’s municipality setting to sort COVID-19 cases, 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 sits at 28 active cases of the virus, Lacombe County has eight active and Clearwater County has 21.
Lacombe has 34 active cases, Sylvan Lake has 16 active, Olds has three active and Drumheller has 15 active.
Both the County of Stettler and Camrose County sit at six active.
Camrose has 31 active and Wetaskiwin 23 active.
Wetaskiwin County, including Maskwacis, has 97 active cases of the virus. Ponoka County, including East Ponoka County, has nine active cases. Rimbey, which includes West Ponoka County and parts of Lacombe County, has no active cases of the virus.