The number of COVID-19 cases in Red Deer rose by three Wednesday, reaching 23.
The Alberta government has declared 117 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 871.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province’s chief medical officer of health, said “Albertans should be concerned, and I am concerned.
“And that’s not because of today’s number, it’s because we’re seeing that two per cent positive rate in our tests over the last several days.”
More than 4,500 Albertans were tested between Tuesday and Wednesday and 98 per cent of the tests were negative, said Hinshaw.
The province confirmed two additional deaths – one in the Calgary zone and the other in Edmonton’s – bringing the total to 11.
The number of cases in Alberta Health Services’ central zone reached 57 on Wednesday.
The highest number of cases is in the Calgary zone, at 527, followed by the Edmonton zone, at 279. There are 51 and 12 cases in the north and south zones, respectively.
Hinshaw said the province believes 94 cases are as a result of community transmission – an increase of 24 from the day previous.
Of the total cases, there are 29 people in hospital, with 13 admitted to intensive care units. In total, there have been 62 hospitalizations, with 20 admissions to ICUs.
Premier Jason Kenney said the hard truth is that “things will get worse before they get better.”
The number of recovered cases in Alberta reached 142 – over 16 per cent of total infections, said Kenney, commending the work front-line employees are putting in every day.
The premier highlighted the efforts of truck drivers, who are transporting essential goods such as agricultural products, medical equipment and other necessities that Albertans use every day.
He noted due to COVID-19, many restaurants have been shut down or have switched to drive-thru operations. Truck drivers can’t always access the takeout service, said Kenney.
“It limits their access to washrooms as well,” the premier said, noting the drivers are on the road for long hours, away from their homes.
Kenney called upon restaurants to let truck drivers walk up to the drive-thru window to place their order and to allow them to use washrooms.
The provincial government is also expanding eligibility for select licensed child care centres. In addition to the previously eligible front-line health-care workers, critical infrastructure workers and first responders, child care is now available to anyone who works in the critical areas outlined as essential by government.
Child care centres have reopened in Red Deer and other parts of the province. Overall, these centres are at eight per cent of their allotted capacity, so there is room to accommodate more children.