Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, answered questions Wednesday about the province’s return to school plan. (Photo by by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, answered questions Wednesday about the province’s return to school plan. (Photo by by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)

Alberta COVID-19 cases increase by 114 Wednesday

Red Deer up to 10 active COVID-19 cases

Alberta announced 114 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, the same day Alberta’s chief medical officer of health said the province is not requiring masks in classrooms because it could interfere with communication and learning.

“Masks alone cannot stop COVID-19,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw. “They are not a perfect solution, but rather, an additional layer of protection, on top of all the other measures in place to prevent spread.”

She added there are other measures in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in schools. The decision is also consistent with school mask-wearing policies in B.C. and Quebec, as well as in Germany.

There are now 1,403 active COVID-19 cases in the province and 12,535 recovered cases, while 50 people are in hospital and nine patients remain in the ICU.

The province also reported an additional death, bringing the total to 242.

The central zone also experienced a slight uptick in cases, with 32 incidents after 27 were reported in the region Tuesday. In total, 538 people have recovered in the zone, with one person in hospital and none in the ICU.

Red Deer also experienced a small increase, now with 10 active cases after reporting seven on Tuesday.

Lacombe County sits at three active cases, while the County of Wetaskiwin, Wetaskiwin and Red Deer County all have two active cases. Drumheller, Mountain View County and Camrose County each have one active cases.

As schools start to reopen, Hinshaw again addressed concerns about students returning to classrooms.

“Facilitating our children’s ability to return to in-school classes has a significant overall benefit to their health and the long-term health of our population, and I, therefore, felt that this was an acceptable adjustment to make,” Hinshaw said in reference to classroom mask rules.

Hinshaw also explained the process in which cases of COVID-19 in schools will be announced to the public. The government says it is committed to releasing any outbreaks in schools, which is five or more cases linked to a single school.

Part of its guidance also provides an expectation that if there’s a single case in a school, even if there’s no exposure, that parents and staff within that school will be notified.

“We have a very precautionary level for outbreak definition, so that we’re able to investigate all of those instances as promptly as possible,” she said.

Hinshaw also acknowledged the potential for the additional spread of COVID-19 as colder months approach.

“What we’re going to see this fall, really depends on how each of us takes the new-normal public health measures indoors with us, as we start to spend more time indoors,” she said.

“It’s possible we may see an increase in cases this fall, but that remains in our hands.”

The Edmonton and Calgary zones continue to be hotspots of COVID-19. The Calgary zone has 632 active cases with 15 people in hospital, while Edmonton has 538 active and 21 people in hospital.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer property owners will receive their 2019 property assessment notices in the next few days.  (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer awaiting more details on how federal budget impacts city

The City of Red Deer is awaiting more information on how much… Continue reading

With a ban on sit-in dining once again in place, Las Palmeras owner Andre Lemus is gearing up for more takeout and delivery business. He has also applied to set up an outdoor patio, where dining is allowed under new restrictions. Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Big interest in outdoor patios in Red Deer as sit-down dining banned again

City of Red Deer has tweaked its patio regulations to make it easier to get a permit

Artist Delree Dumont has painted an Indigenous mural at St. Joseph High School. (Contributed photo)
Indigenous mural painted on Red Deer high school walls

A new Indigenous mural now sits on the walls of St. Joseph… Continue reading

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy www.medicago.com)
Red Deer clinical research centre participating in plant-based COVID-19 vaccine trial

A Red Deer research centre has been selected to participate in the… Continue reading

Liz Weston: How the pandemic has shaken up retirement

Liz Weston: How the pandemic has shaken up retirement

Asad Behrawa performs a Muslim call to prayer over a loudspeaker at the Rahma Mosque west of Edmonton on Thursday, April 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Emotions show as call to prayer broadcast during second Ramadan in lockdown

Emotions show as call to prayer broadcast during second Ramadan in lockdown

‘Midnight hour of need’: St. Vincent pleads for global help

‘Midnight hour of need’: St. Vincent pleads for global help

In this image from video, Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill discusses motions before the court Thursday, April 15, 2021, in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis. Chauvin is charged in the May 25, 2020, death of George Floyd. (Court TV via AP, Pool)
Murder case against ex-cop in Floyd’s death goes to the jury

Murder case against ex-cop in Floyd’s death goes to the jury

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland delivers the federal budget in the House of Commons as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on in Ottawa on Monday April 19, 2021. The federal government unveiled spending plans to manage the remainder of the COVID-19 crisis and chart an economic course for a post-pandemic Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Liberals top up long-term plan for affordable housing

Liberals top up long-term plan for affordable housing

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland delivers the federal budget in the House of Commons as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on in Ottawa on Monday April 19, 2021. The federal government unveiled spending plans to manage the remainder of the COVID-19 crisis and chart an economic course for a post-pandemic Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Federal Budget 2021: Liberals bank on child care, business aid to prod growth

Federal Budget 2021: Liberals bank on child care, business aid to prod growth

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland delivers the federal budget in the House of Commons as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on in Ottawa on Monday April 19, 2021. The federal government unveiled spending plans to manage the remainder of the COVID-19 crisis and chart an economic course for a post-pandemic Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Federal Budget 2021: Liberals focus on clean technology for climate spending

Federal Budget 2021: Liberals focus on clean technology for climate spending

Federal Budget 2021: Liberals extend COVID-19 aid with election top of mind

Federal Budget 2021: Liberals extend COVID-19 aid with election top of mind

Most Read