The number of COVID-19 cases in central Alberta has more than doubled since Friday.
Alberta confirmed 961 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. The numbers from the long weekend are 236 on Friday, 259 on Saturday, 246 on Sunday and 220 on Monday.
The central zone’s 50 active cases on Friday jumped to 109 on Tuesday. The number of people in hospital in the local zone remained steady at three.
To date, the zone has had 668 recoveries – an increase of eight since Friday.
Despite the sharp increase in active cases in the local zone, it has the lowest number of active cases in the province.
As of Tuesday, there were 22 active cases in the City of Red Deer – an increase of 12 since Friday. To date, 110 people in the city have recovered.
Red Deer County was at four active cases Tuesday, two in Sylvan Lake, seven in Lacombe County, 10 in the City of Lacombe, 36 in Ponoka County, two in the City of Wetaskiwin, two in the Town of Olds, eight in Mountain View County and eight in Stettler County.
With the rate of active cases at 131.1 per 100,000 people in Ponoka County, the municipality has made the province’s watchlist (above the threshold but no additional measures).
There are no active cases in Clearwater County and Wetaskiwin County.
There are 2,615 active cases in Alberta (up from Friday’s 2,225), with 97 people in hospital.
There have been four deaths in the province since the chief medical officer’s last announcement on Thursday. None of them were in the central zone.
In total, 70 intensive care unit beds have been dedicated to COVID-19. Currently 13 are in use, Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Tuesday.
“We’re watching our province’s health system carefully to ensure hospitalizations and ICU admissions remain within our province’s capacity,” said Hinshaw.
There are no people in the intensive care units in the central zone.
Hinshaw said the province is making a shift in its testing approach. Starting Wednesday, the province will move to an appointment-only approach to testing at AHS assessment centres.
Drop-in testing is a small part of the testing currently being done, said Hinshaw, with 93 per cent of all testing being done through appointments.
Assessment centres are noticing a number of missed appointments lately, said Hinshaw. For example, Calgary recorded a 14 per cent no-show rate this weekend.
The Edmonton zone remains the hot spot in the province, with 1,444 active cases in the zone Tuesday.
The number of active cases in the Calgary zone was 754.
There are active alerts or outbreaks in 209 schools – that’s about nine per cent of all schools in the province.
These schools have 464 active cases in total. This number includes 88 schools that are on outbreaks, including 21 currently on the province’s watch list.
Most of these schools are in Edmonton and Calgary, according to the province’s school map.