Edmonton mayor unhappy over rise in active cases around Alberta capital

Edmonton mayor unhappy over rise in active cases around Alberta capital

EDMONTON — The mayor of Edmonton says he’s concerned and disappointed about a rise in COVID-19 cases in and around the Alberta capital.

Health officials say there are 593 active cases in the Edmonton zone. Five areas within the zone are on a watch list.

Alberta Health has said that watch status means regions have gone over a particular threshold for cases, but no additional measures are taken.

“We’re reaching out to (Alberta Health Services) to get more details on this rise in cases so we can help protect communities most at risk,” Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson said in a tweet on Tuesday.

Alberta Health on Monday reported 177 cases for Friday — 103 were new and 74 were added from previous dates, 86 new cases on Saturday and 96 on Sunday.

Also Tuesday, the province said officials were aware of a dozen COVID-19 cases connected to a religious gathering in a hamlet in northwestern Alberta. The event was held in Deadwood, Alta., from July 30 to Aug. 2.

In a statement, an Alberta Health spokesperson advised anyone who attended or has been in close contact with someone at the gathering needs to book a test online and monitor for symptoms.

Health officials in northern British Columbia issued an alert Monday saying they had linked 17 novel coronavirus cases of their own to the same event. Twelve of the cases were due to attendance at the event and five were believed to be from secondary exposures.

Another 24 people identified as “close contacts” are in self-isolation.

Most of the cases are in the Fort St. John area, but “the exposure alert applies to all of northeast B.C.”

In central Alberta, a meat-processing plant sent more than a dozen employees home after a worker tested positive for the virus last week.

The employee at the Olymel facility in Red Deer, Alta., was sent home and told to get tested after showing symptoms of COVID-19 on Aug. 11, a company spokesman said.

Richard Vigneault said the positive test results came in two days later and, as a result, 13 other employees who were at risk of exposure were sent home for testing.

Vigneault said the company expects the test results in the coming days.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 18, 2020

Daniela Germano, The Canadian Press

Coronavirus

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