Alberta is trending towards Stage 2 and it is looking like it’s going to start on June 10, if we keep following the rules, and have hospitalizations below 500 individuals.

Today in the June 1, COVID-19 update, Premier Jason Kenney said the reason, for the large part, for the decline in COVID-19 numbers, is vaccines and restrictions.

He says 99.98 per cent of the vaccines have worked with no significant concerns. So far 63.4 per cent of Albertans have received their first dose of the vaccine and 10.4 per cent have received two doses.

Starting this week the province will be screening all positive cases for variants.

“We know that vaccines work, even against these variants,” he said.

In terms of second doses, he says that Alberta has led the country in second doses. Amongst the elderly, he said three quarters have been fully vaccinated.

“Alberta leads all provinces and is almost double the national average,” said Kenney.

Starting today everyone who has received their first dose. will be able to book their second dose appointment by the end of June.

Those who got their first dose in March or earlier can book their second dose appointment now. Those who got a dose in April they can book the second dose on June 14. Those who got the first dose in May they can book appointments on June 28.

“This is fantastic and it’s also a big part of why the Open For Summer plan, we are confident will work,” said Kenney.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the Chief Medical Officer of Health spoke about variant screening and stressed the importance of getting second doses.

She says all positive case test results will undergo testing for variants of concern. There are now outbreaks or alerts in about 17 per cent of schools, and there was one new death reported to AHS in the last 24 hours.

“It’s wonderful to see so many Albertans have already received their first dose and the protection that comes with it,’ said Hinshaw.

Over the last 24 hours, 209 new cases were identified. There are 438 people in hospital due to COVID-19, including 127 in intensive care and there are 6,771 active cases in the province.