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Thirty-two new cases of B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant, 8 additional deaths

Last Updated Feb 25, 2021 at 4:48 pm MDT

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. Ontario is reporting three new cases of the novel coronavirus today, bringing the total in the province to 18. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID-RML via AP

CALGARY (660NEWS) — Variant cases continue to see a steady rise this week in Alberta as COVID-19 numbers were virtually released again Thursday.

Thirty-two new cases of the B.1.1.7 variant were reported in the province over the course of the last 24 hours, with 399 new cases being announced as well.

While the total cases have increased over the past 24 hours, they come with an increase in testing. The province saw a 4.3 per cent positivity rate for Thursday’s report, compared to 4.6 the day prior.

Over the past day, 8 people lost their fight against COVID-19, while 280 people remain in hospital, with 56 now in the ICU.

The new numbers come just one day after vaccine appointments were opened online for those 75 years and older, and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw took to Twitter with an update on vaccination numbers.

After a tough first day of bookings, a loop-hole being found on Twitter, and an update to the Alberta Health Services booking system, over 100,000 Albertans have managed to secure an appointment for their first vaccine appointment.

Dr. Hinshaw will not be providing another live COVID-19 update until Monday.