“I urge Albertans to exercise patience and kindness in the days ahead," Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said Friday. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)

‘It is a sobering statistic,’ more Albertans have died from COVID-19 than from flu in last 10 years

Cental zone has 1,458 active cases of COVID-19

Alberta announced an additional 1,270 cases of COVID-19 Wednesday.

After Monday’s record number of daily cases, the last two days have seen a decline.

Sixteen new deaths were reported Wednesday. To date, 760 people have died from the virus since the beginning of the pandemic.

Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said in her daily press conference that more Albertans have died from COVID-19 than from influenza in the last 10 years combined.

“It is a sobering statistic,” Hinshaw said.

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With COVID-19 vaccines arriving this week, Hinshaw noted that when the additional 25,000 doses of the vaccine arrive next week, immunizations will expand to priority health care workers province-wide.

“We know there are many people in the province who can benefit from the vaccine and who serve their communities every single day in a frontline way,” she said.

This week and next week respiratory therapists, staff that work in ICU and staff who work in long-term care or designated supportive living facilities will be getting the vaccine. She said the second part of phase 1 will go to those who are at the highest risk and will be offered to anyone 75 and over.

Hinshaw also explained once they get approval to move the vaccine in smaller cold chain packages and move that to other sites, they will start to immunize individuals in supportive living and long-term care facilities.

Central zone now has 1,458 active COVID-19 cases, with 68 people in hospital, including four in the ICU.

Red Deer now has 417 active cases and Red Deer County sits at 99. Lacombe County has 56 active and Lacombe is at 29 active.

Sylvan Lake sits at 44 active cases and Olds has 28 active. Mountain View County has 30 active, Kneehill has 19 active and Clearwater County is at 58 active.

The City of Camrose has 71 active and Camrose County has 31. Wetaskiwin, County of Wetaskiwin and Ponoka County combined have 292 active cases.

There are active alerts or outbreaks in 452 schools, about 19 per cent of schools in the province. These schools have a combined 964 cases.

Hinshaw also cautioned that Albertans of all ages need to remain vigilant in fighting the COVID-19 virus.

She said more than 32,000 between 20-39 have contracted COVID-19. More than 380 have been hospitalized and eight have died.

“This virus does not discriminate, it can have long term and potentially devastating impacts on all our health,” Hinshaw said.