Cases in the region are once again on the rise.

For the local area, here are the current number of active cases and total COVID-19 related deaths as of Thursday (Dec.23):               

  • Fort Saskatchewan: 31 cases, 24 deaths
  • Sherwood Park: 155 cases, 45 deaths
  • Strathcona County: 54 cases, eight deaths
  • Sturgeon County: 37 cases, 13 deaths
  • Morinville: 12 cases, 12 deaths
  • Lamont County: one case, three deaths

 The total per cent of people five years old and older who are fully immunized:

  • Fort Saskatchewan: 78.6 per cent               
  • Sherwood Park: 83.5 per cent               
  • Strathcona County: 78.6 per cent               
  • Sturgeon County West (including Morinville): 73.9 per cent               
  • Sturgeon County East: 72.7 per cent               
  • Lamont County: 70 per cent   

Provincial COVID-19 numbers

In the last day, 1,625 new cases of COVID-19 were identified in Alberta. There are 7,065 active cases.

Currently, 318 people with the virus are in the hospital with 64 in the ICU.

There have been 3,299 deaths reported to date.

So far, 7.4 million doses of the vaccine have been administered. Of these, 89.1 per cent of the population 12 years of age and older have been vaccinated and 85 per cent are fully immunized.

Temporary testing options given to healthcare workers

The testing option, which was previously available to a small number of unimmunized Alberta Health Services workers at specific work locations, will now be available to any unimmunized staff member who wants to return to work, as part of the Immunization or Testing of Workers for COVID-19 Policy, which will be reviewed by the end of March 2022.

As of Dec. 23, approximately 1,400 full and part-time staff who are not fully immunized have been placed on unpaid leave. The testing option allows those staff to return to work if they accept the testing option.

Testing will be available at their expense, and unimmunized staff will be required to provide proof of a negative Health Canada-approved COVID-19 test that was completed no more than 48 hours before each of their working shifts. A positive rapid antigen test would require a PCR test.

Over 97 per cent of full-time and part-time staff have had at least two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.