“This is deadly serious,” Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said Wednesday. “I have asked for kindness, but I also ask for firmness.” (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)

“This is deadly serious,” Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said Wednesday. “I have asked for kindness, but I also ask for firmness.” (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)

11 more COVID-19 deaths Wednesday, 732 new cases

Almost 25 per cent of deaths from COVID-19 have come since November 1

There were 732 new cases of COVID-19 in Alberta on Wednesday.

The announcement came from Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, who once again expressed concern about the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in the province.

She said Alberta now has a 5.5 per cent COVID-19 test positivity rate after more than 13,000 tests were completed over the past 24 hours.

She also said that there were 11 more deaths due to the virus, bringing the death toll to 443. Almost 25 per cent of Alberta’s deaths from the virus have come since Nov. 1.

“The human costs of COVID are rising rapidly,” she said.

“If we do not change our trajectory, the implications are grim.”

Across Alberta, there are 10,057 active cases of the virus, with 287 people in hospital and 57 in the ICU.

The central zone has 454 active cases and eight people in hospital.

Red Deer sits at 109 active cases of the virus, up four from Tuesday, according to the government’s geospatial mapping on the municipality setting.

The cases are split, with 50 in Red Deer east, 48 in Red Deer north and 11 in Red Deer southwest (Gaetz Avenue).

Red Deer County is at 13 active cases and Lacombe County has 12. The City of Lacombe is at 17 active cases, Olds has four active cases and Sylvan Lake has nine active cases.

Mountain View County has 13 active cases and Drumheller has 27 active cases of the virus.

The City of Wetaskiwin has 44 cases of the virus, while Camrose has 27. Camrose County has 40 active cases.

In the government’s geospatial mapping on the local geographic area setting, Ponoka (East Ponoka County) has 24 active cases. Rimbey (West Ponoka County and partial Lacombe County) has three active cases. Wetaskiwin County (Maskwacis) has 123 active cases.

There are active alerts or outbreaks in 320 schools, about 13 per cent of all schools in the province.

Sixty-four schools are on the watch list and Hinshaw added that in-school transmission has occurred in 157 schools. Only 83 of those schools had a new case as a result of the transmission.

Hinshaw also explained that nearly one-third of cases are coming from unknown sources. She said about 40 per cent of cases are linked to household gatherings or private events.

Only 10 per cent are linked to long term care and four per cent to childcare.

“This is deadly serious. I have asked for kindness, but I also ask for firmness. The need to control our spread and protect our health system is why I ask everyone, anywhere in the province, to abide by all public health measures,” Hinshaw said.

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