The Omicron COVID-19 variant has made its way to Alberta.
Alberta's chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw informed the public they have confirmed the first case of the variant in the province. The case is a returning traveller from Nigeria and the Netherlands.
Hinshaw reports they are asymptomatic and have been in isolation since arriving in Canada.
"I don't want Albertans to be alarmed. We anticipated the arrival of this variant in the province eventually based on what we have seen in previous strains of COVID-19," she said. "We are well prepared for this eventuality."
The variant is associated with increased mutations and transmissibility. Hinshaw believes the vaccine should still provide some protection from the variant but added the variant is still being researched.
The province identified 238 new cases of the virus in the last day. Currently, 424 people are in the hospital, and 81 are in intensive care.
Alberta Health Services is reporting 4,850 active cases of COVID-19 in Alberta.
Six new deaths were reported in the province, bringing the total to 3,242 since the start of the pandemic.
As for the local area, here are the number of active cases on Tuesday:
- Fort Saskatchewan: 32 cases
- Sherwood Park: 92 cases
- Strathcona County: 22 cases
- Sturgeon County: 22 cases
- Morinville: seven cases
- Lamont County: zero cases
Fort Saskatchewan Christian and Win Ferguson in Fort Saskatchewan, Fultonvale Elementary Junior High, Heritage Hills Elementary and St. Theresa in Sherwood Park are all currently listed as being under “Alert” status with 2-4 cases.
Brentwood School in Sherwood Park is under "Outbreak" status with 10+ cases.
The total per cent of people fully immunized with the vaccine as of Tuesday:
- Fort Saskatchewan: 71.3 per cent
- Sherwood Park: 78.4 per cent
- Strathcona County: 74 per cent
- Sturgeon County West (including Morinville): 67.6 per cent
- Sturgeon County East: 67.3 per cent
- Lamont County: 64.5 per cent
A total of 6.87-million doses of the vaccine have now been administered in the province; 88.7 per cent of the eligible population have received at least one dose, while 83.8 per cent are fully vaccinated.