Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw urged Albertans to keep up their vigilance against COVID-19 Wednesday. (File photo)

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw urged Albertans to keep up their vigilance against COVID-19 Wednesday. (File photo)

Another death linked to Red Deer hospital COVID outbreak

It’s hard to pinpoint any one cause, said Hinshaw

Alberta reported more than 690 additional cases of COVID-19 Wednesday.

Chief medical officer of health Deena Hinshaw also reported two more deaths in the province and sent her sympathies to families.

One of the deaths, a man in his 70s, was reported in Central zone, and is linked to the outbreak at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre. He had more than one disease or condition.

The other death was in Calgary zone: a man in his 60s.

There are 285 hospitalizations from COVID-19 in the province, including 53 people in intensive care.

It is hard to pinpoint any one activity or place that is to blame for still rising cases of COVID-19 — even though the province has delayed Step 3 of its reopening plan, and most Albertans are being careful about preventing the spread of the pandemic, Hinshaw said.

There are obviously still “little moments” where some people are getting too close to others, she added, urging Albertans to keep up their vigilance, despite their pandemic fatigue.

Two hundred and two additional cases of variant virus were reported on Wednesday.

She said the first two cases were reported of community spread from the P-1 variant, first identified in Brazil.

The outbreak at Olymel in Red Deer appears to be ending. Only two of the 520 cases are still active, according to Alberta Health. There have been three worker deaths resulting from the outbreak to date, and 515 people have recovered.

Earlier in the day, Minister of Health Tyler Shandro, said Alberta hit a COVID-19 vaccine milestone on Wednesday: “More than half a million doses of vaccine have now been administered in Alberta. Nearly one in 10 Albertans have received at least one dose to protect them against COVID-19.

Shandro added more than 146,400 doses were administered over the last week.

“We are more than doubling the number of pharmacies offering vaccinations, with hundreds more participating, along with community physicians, in the coming weeks,” said Shandro.

He reiterated that every adult Albertan will be offered a vaccination by the end of June as long as the supply is there.

The province has seen a spike in active cases recently, reporting an additional 692 cases on Wednesday, totalling 6,534.

Central zone sits at 581 active cases of the virus and the region has 326 variant cases, all from the U.K.-discovered variant (referred to as B.1.1.7). Thirty-four people are in hospital with six in the intensive care.

Red Deer is at 144 active cases of COVID-19. That’s a jump from Tuesday’s 132 cases.

When looking at the province’s geospatial mapping for COVID-19 cases on the municipality setting, 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.

With that setting, Red Deer County has 18 active cases of the virus, Lacombe County has 40 active and Clearwater County sits at 19 active.

Lacombe has 41 active and Sylvan Lake has 22 active cases, while Olds sits at eight active. Mountain View County sits at 10 active, Kneehill County has four active and Drumheller has 47 active.

Camrose County sits at seven active cases and the County of Stettler has nine.

Camrose is at one active case and Wetaskiwin has 42 active.

On the local geographic area setting, Wetaskiwin County, including Maskwacis has 63 active. Ponoka, including East Ponoka County, has 88 active cases and Rimbey, which includes West Ponoka County and parts of Lacombe County has 11 active.



lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

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