On Thursday, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, along with Alberta's chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said businesses and organizations will stay closed until at least January 21.
Hinshaw said there is no evidence the variant has spread to anyone else.
A resurgence in cases in the fall, rising to risky levels and threatening to overrun the health system, prompted Kenney's government in late November and early December to reinstitute numerous lockdown measures imposed in the spring.
The variant that was first reported in South Africa is more infectious than the original COVID-19 virus and has rapidly become dominant in that country's coastal areas.More news: Sinkhole swallows a chunk of hospital's auto park in Naples
Jason Kenney began the conference by putting forth the most recent COVID-19 numbers in the province.
In a letter sent Wednesday to Health Minister Tyler Shandro, 219 physicians from across the province said Alberta's vaccination schedule has passed over workers on the front lines of Alberta's battle against the virus.
This means about 3,300 COVID unit staff and 15,400 medical and surgical unit staff are now eligible for the vaccine.
To date, three adverse reactions following immunization have been reported to Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services.More news: Tesla Introduces Lower-Price Model Y
"The health measures that were put in place in December have helped to reduce the number of active cases, but it's not enough", Kenney said.
There are 13,298 active cases across the province, with 871 people being treated in hospitals for the illness, including 139 in ICU beds.
Kenney said the case numbers are coming down but the level of hospitalizations is still too high.
Between September and the winter break, only 0.4 per cent of students and school staff tested positive for COVID-19, the premier said.More news: Khamenei mocks America after 'fiasco' on US Capitol
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney apologized Thursday for legislature members and political staff who travelled overseas over the holidays, saying his government broke the public trust and must rebuild it.