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Potential COVID-19 exposure at Calgary vaccination site, Alberta variant cases rise

CALGARY — Alberta Health Services says there is a small chance 49 members of the public may have been exposed to COVID-19 at a Calgary vaccination site last week. A health-care worker who was staffing the South Calgary Health Centre site between 8 a.
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Health-care worker Thi Nguyen administers Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine to a patient at a COVID-19 clinic in Ottawa, Tuesday, March 30, 2021. Alberta Health Services says there's a small chance 49 members of the public may have been exposed to COVID-19 at a Calgary vaccination site last week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

CALGARY — Alberta Health Services says there is a small chance 49 members of the public may have been exposed to COVID-19 at a Calgary vaccination site last week. 

A health-care worker who was staffing the South Calgary Health Centre site between 8 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. on March 23 and between 8 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. on March 25 later tested positive for the virus. 

The health agency said Tuesday that only those contacted directly should be tested as a precaution. 

"Risk of exposure is believed to be low due to the continuous and correct use of (personal protective equipment) at the site, as well as the strict COVID-19 safety protocols in place," Alberta Health Services said in a statement.

"However, out of an abundance of caution, we are contacting 49 members of the public, who attended the site for their appointments on the dates and during the time frames outlined above, to be tested for COVID-19."

Meanwhile, Alberta reported 576 new COVID-19 infections and four additional deaths in Tuesday's update.

There were 332 new cases involving more transmissible virus variants. 

Nearly 30 per cent of the province's active cases are now variants, up from 20 per cent last week and three per cent in late January.  

Hospitalizations have risen to 301 from 288 a day earlier and there were 58 people in intensive care. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 30, 2021. 

The Canadian Press