Update from the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw:
8,048 Albertans have now recovered. 55 people are hospitalized with 13 in ICUs. There are 86 new cases out of almost 6,000 new tests. We currently have 701 active cases in Alberta.
I am sad to report two new deaths – bringing our total of lives lost to 163. One is linked to the outbreak at the Misericordia hospital. My heart goes out to anyone who has lost a loved one due to #COVID19AB or any cause.
The Misericordia outbreak now has 17 active patient cases in hospital & 17 active staff cases. Sadly, there have been six deaths. There are multiple measures to keep staff & patients safe + an evaluation underway so we can learn & apply lessons.
Alberta now has four regions coded in blue for ‘Watch’ status and we are monitoring these areas closely. No additional health measures are being implemented at this time.
The virus has now been in Alberta for 4 months and, while cases declined from the peak, daily numbers have begun to rise over the past few days. Also of concern is the younger age of people infected: 57% of 780 new cases in the past two weeks are in people under 40.
This pandemic has been a long haul, and I worry that Albertans may be starting to tune the messages out. If anyone is tired of following the public health guidance, or feels that they are not at risk, please remember that your actions are protecting more than yourself.
COVID-19 can spread quickly and cases can rise rapidly if we don’t all do our part. Stay 2m apart, wear a mask when you can’t, wash/sanitize hands often, stay home if sick & get tested. Avoid overcrowding in public spaces & gatherings.
Please respect the limits for cohorts – a max of 15 people including family/friends; up to 50 people for sports/performing cohorts. Sports cohorts should not interact with other cohorts – e.g. in tournaments.
COVID-19 doesn’t care where people come from or what a person’s heritage may be. The virus is not restricted to any particular race, region or community.
I heard reports that some Siksika First Nation members were denied access to a business because of reported cases. At other times, Albertans of Chinese or other ethnic heritage & religious groups faced discrimination. Albertans of every heritage deserve better than that.
In Siksika First Nation, local leadership acted quickly, transparently & proactively to control the spread. When the result is stigma, it sends a message against transparency and risks discouraging people from being tested or cooperating with public health.
Anyone who contracts the virus deserves our compassion and support to work with public health. This is the only way we can control the spread of this virus.
Get COVID-19 updates at http://alberta.ca/COVID19.