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Shandro says spread of new variants is worrisome, 14 new variant cases

Last Updated Feb 18, 2021 at 4:15 pm MST

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which cause COVID-19. According to research released in 2021, evidence is mounting that having COVID-19 may not protect against getting infected again with some of the new variants. People also can get second infections with earlier versions of the coronavirus if they mounted a weak defense the first time. (Hannah A. Bullock, Azaibi Tamin/CDC via AP)

EDMONTON (660 NEWS) – Alberta is reporting 14 new cases of a COVID-19 variant in the last 24 hours.

All the new cases are of the U.K. variant.

There are a total of 232 cases of the variant throughout Alberta.

During Thursday’s provincial update, Health Minister Tyler Shandro said the spread of the new variant is worrisome because it can spread more rapidly.

Shandro said there is now a team of 50 people dedicated solely to tracking the variants in Alberta.
The contact tracers have identified 239 variants of concern in total, with the other cases being the variant originating in South Africa.

Shandro is reminding Albertans that the contact tracers are doing their job, and no one should be treating them unfairly. The tracers are just trying to keep people safe and stopping the spread of the virus.

When it comes to new cases of COVID-19, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw confirmed 415 new cases after 10,275 tests were completed in the last 24 hours.

There are 362 people in the hospital, with 55 in the ICU.

The Calgary zone is leading in active infections with 1,734 cases, while the Edmonton zone has 1,287.

Sadly, seven more Albertans have died from complications related to the virus. The death toll in the province is now at 1,805.

As of Thursday afternoon, 123,338 people have recovered from COVID-19.

Hinshaw’s next update will be on Friday.