Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said that measures put in place to fight COVID-19 have lead to a sharp decline in influenza cases. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said that measures put in place to fight COVID-19 have lead to a sharp decline in influenza cases. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)

7 new deaths, 461 new COVID-19 cases in Alberta

Central zone has 710 active cases

Alberta reported an additional 461 COVID-19 cases Thursday.

The province now sits at 8,041 active cases of the virus, with 591 people in hospital, including 112 in intensive care.

In her daily briefing, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said the province completed more than 12,000 COVID-19 tests and had a positivity rate of 3.9 per cent. She also announced an additional seven deaths due to the virus, bringing Alberta’s death toll to 1,606 since the beginning of the pandemic.

Hinshaw said that despite the COVID-19 virus’ continued presence in Alberta, there has been a lack of the typical influenza bug so far this flu season.

She noted there have been zero lab-confirmed cases of influenza in Alberta so far. There have been 300 per cent more influenza immunizations this year, compared to a typical year.

More than 1.5 million doses of the influenza immunization have been administered in Alberta this flu season, the highest in the past 10 years. Hinshaw credited the COVID-19 measures as to the reason why influenza hasn’t been more prevalent this year.

“The absence of influenza cases is a testament to our province and to the power of the actions we have been taking to protect each other,” Hinshaw said.

“The measures in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 have stopped the spread of influenza this year.”

She said with so few influenza cases this year, it underscores how dangerous COVID-19 is.

“The measures we have put in place to fight COVID-19 are unprecedented in Alberta’s history, yet, despite these steps there are still been more than 122,00 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed in the province so far,” she said.

In Central zone, there are now 710 active cases of COVID-19, with 46 people in the hospital, including seven in intensive care.

Red Deer is up to 172 active cases of the virus.

Red Deer County has 29 active cases, according to the province’s geospatial mapping on the municipality setting, in which regions are defined by metropolitan areas, cities, urban service areas, rural areas, and towns with approximately 10,000 or more people; smaller regions, are incorporated into the corresponding rural area.

Lacombe County has 27 active cases and Lacombe has 21 active.

Sylvan Lake sits at 22 active and Olds has seven active.

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Mountain View County has 18 active cases, Kneehill County has four active, Drumheller has eight active and Starland County sits at 12 active. Clearwater County has 56 active.

Camrose County sits at eight active and Camrose has 41 active. The County of Stettler has four active and Flagstaff County has two active. Wetaskiwin sits at 24 active.

In the local geographic area setting, Rimbey, which includes West Ponoka and parts of Lacombe County has three active. Ponoka, including East Ponoka County, sits at 19 active. Wetaskiwin County, which includes Wetaskiwin and Maskwacis, has 189 active cases of the virus.

Currently, 300 schools are on alert or have outbreaks, with 593 cases in total.

More than 280 schools are on alert, with 448 total cases.

Outbreaks have been declared in 17 schools, with a total of 145 cases.

In-school transmission has likely occurred in 57 schools. Of these, 45 have had only one new case occur as a result.



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