Albertans receive vaccines at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

COVID-19 cases skyrocket in Alberta with 501 new infections recorded in a single day

Province currently has the highest active case count in all of Canada

Alberta has recorded 501 new cases of COVID-19 — the largest single-day increase since late May.

The new infections reported Wednesday increase Alberta’s active case count to 3,769.

Almost 44 per cent of active cases are in the Calgary zone, followed by about 22 per cent in the Edmonton zone.

Alberta currently has the highest active case count in all of Canada.

Hospitalizations rose by five to 138 and intensive care unit admissions by two for a total of 31.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, said on social media the majority of Albertans facing severe outcomes are either unvaccinated or partially protected against COVID-19.

About 85.9 per cent of non-ICU patients are unvaccinated or have partial vaccine protection. The same goes for 93.5 per cent of people in intensive care.

Most testing, tracing and isolation measures have ended in the province, with quarantine requirements lifting for positive cases next Monday.

Ahead of additional provincial guidance, some schools in Alberta have chosen to reinstate COVID-19 safety measures for returning students and staff.

On Wednesday, the Calgary Board of Education announced mandatory masking will remain in place, in addition to enhanced cleaning and screening measures beginning next Tuesday for modified calendar schools.

Christopher Usih, chief superintendent of schools, said in a statement they will review any additional guidance from Alberta Education before September.

“We all play a role in ensuring that our return to school is as safe as possible,” said Usih.

“As the school year begins, we will be monitoring the situation closely and following the direction of health authorities to ensure that we are doing everything possible to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our schools and workplaces.”

The district said it will no longer alert close contacts of positive cases in the classroom as it used to, based on guidance from Hinshaw.

Edmonton Catholic Schools previously announced it would reinstate masking for its year-round students who began classes Wednesday.

—The Canadian Press

RELATED: Kenney continues to back Alberta’s COVID-19 plan despite growing concerns

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