If rising COVID cases don’t level off soon, stricter restrictions will be necessary: Hinshaw

1,081 more cases of the virus were reported on Tuesday

Alberta reported 1,081 additional cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday.

If rising cases of COVID-19 don’t level off soon, Chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw cautioned that imposing stricter restrictions in Alberta might be necessary.

She reported three more deaths in the province Tuesday and sent her sympathies to the families.

A male in his 60s and a male in his 70s died, respectively, in the Edmonton and Calgary Zones, and a woman in her 80s died in the Calgary Zone.

There are 402 hospitalizations from COVID-19 in the province, including 88 people in intensive care.

Contact tracing among school-age children indicates that the virus is not being spread in classrooms, but from social interactions outside school, said Hinshaw. She urged Albertans to keep vigilant and reduce opportunities for the virus to spread.

Hinshaw called it an “incredible triumph” that Albertans have managed to get through the regular flu season with zero cases of influenza.

People think it’s because the province has not been testing for it — but that’s far from the case, said Hinshaw. She noted more swab tests were done for respiratory illnesses this year than in the last decade.

About 122,000 tests were processed this flu season, compared to 47,000 tests last year — and not one case of seasonal influenza showed up, said Hinshaw.

She reminded Albertans that the success that was achieved in using physical distancing, hand-washing and other hygiene practises to reduce cases of the seasonal flu can also be applied towards beating COVID-19.

Seven-hundred-and five additional cases of variant virus were reported on Wednesday. This amounts of 52 per cent of active cases.

More than 900,000 doses of vaccine have been given out in Alberta.

Central zone sits at 1,346 active cases of the virus and the region has 843 variant active cases. Forty-three people are in hospital, with five in intensive care.

Red Deer is at 275 active cases of COVID-19.

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 70 active cases of the virus, Lacombe County has 65 active and Clearwater County sits at 10 active.

Lacombe has 60 active and Sylvan Lake has 36 active cases, while Olds sits at 49 active. Mountain View County sits at 45 active, Kneehill County has 24 active and Drumheller has 20 active.

Camrose County sits at 67 active cases and the County of Stettler has 10.

Camrose is at 83 active case and Wetaskiwin has 109 active.

On the local geographic area setting, Wetaskiwin County, including Maskwacis has 225 active. Ponoka, including East Ponoka County, has 112 active cases and Rimbey, which includes West Ponoka County and parts of Lacombe County has 14 active.

Hinshaw urged all 1.7 million Albertans to get vaccines that prevent serious cases of COVID and hospitalizations.

All Albertans age 16 and up who have health conditions including asthma, heart problems, diabetes and other conditions identified on the Alberta Health website, can now make booking for vaccinations.

As well, anyone who works in a health care setting, including clinics and hospitals, are also eligible to get vaccinated.



lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

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