Alberta reported 644 new COVID-19 cases Monday, pushing the number of active cases to almost 8,000 in the province.
Seven additional virus deaths were reported, including one in the central zone. There are now 369 virus deaths in Alberta.
The central zone’s numbers are up, at 330 active cases from the previous 255. There are four people in hospital in the local zone. To date, 950 people have recovered in the zone.
The City of Red Deer recorded a new high – 94 active cases Monday.
According to the local geographic area map, these cases are split, with 36 active cases in Red Deer north, eight in the city’s southwest (Gaetz Avenue area) and 50 in the east.
There are 192 people in hospital across the province, with 39 in intensive care and 7,965 active cases.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the chief medical officer of health, said it is vital to protect the province’s health-care system.
“These numbers are concerning and we’re considering what further steps are needed,” she said.
“I’m extremely concerned by the spread we’re seeing. This weekend, we saw a daily record for new cases reported on Saturday, followed by high numbers Sunday and today,” she said.
There were 919 cases reported Saturday and 727 on Sunday.
“Cases continue to rise, and if we don’t bend the curve back soon, we may see further surgeries being postponed or other impacts on health services.”
On Friday, Premier Jason Kenney expanded a 15-person limit on social gatherings, which now applies to every community on the government’s watch or enhanced measures list.
On Monday, this list included the City of Red Deer, Ponoka County, the Town of Sylvan Lake and the City of Wetaskiwin in central Alberta.
“It generally takes one to two weeks to see the impacts of new measures like the ones that Alberta announced on Friday,” Hinshaw said.
“However, the rate of increase and rise of hospitalizations are extremely concerning to me. We’re assessing measures closely. If needed, we do not need to wait 14 days before recommending additional measures.”
The government’s map – with the municipality setting – showed Red Deer County had seven active cases Monday, 11 for the Town of Sylvan Lake, 19 for the City of Lacombe, three in Lacombe County and six in Clearwater County.
Mountain View County had 15 active cases and there were 10 in Kneehill County.
Camrose County had four active cases, while the City of Camrose had 28 active cases.
There are 26 active cases in the City of Wetaskiwin and no active cases in the County of Stettler.
According to the same Alberta map with the local geographic setting, there were three active cases in Rimbey (west Ponoka County and partial Lacombe County), 29 active cases in Ponoka (east Ponoka County) and 61 active cases in Wetaskiwin (Maskwacis).
Due to ongoing technical difficulties, exact testing figures were not available Monday.
About 12 per cent of schools are on alert or have outbreaks, with 911 cases in total. Of those, 130 schools are on alert, with 158 total cases. Outbreaks are declared in 155 schools, including 57 on watch.