The provincial government has confirmed 94 new COVID-19 cases over the past two days.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, announced the province’s latest COVID-19 statistics during a live update Thursday afternoon.
Thirty new cases were confirmed on Tuesday and 64 new cases were confirmed on Wednesday. A provincial update was not provided on Canada Day.
Alberta’s central zone is down to three active cases.
The City of Red Deer remains at two confirmed active cases, while the Town of Olds now has no active cases – in the last update, Olds had one active case. Beaver County still has one active case as well.
There are no COIVD-19-related hospitalizations in the central zone.
Provincially, 44 people are in hospital due to the virus – nine of those individuals have been admitted into an intensive care unit.
Of the total 8,202 confirmed cases, 542 are active, 7,505 have recovered and 155 have died.
During the update, Hinshaw discussed the possibility of the NHL hosting playoff games in Edmonton later this summer.
“I know many Albertans are thinking about hockey right now and wondering how the NHL’s hub event might be held in Edmonton without jeopardizing public safety,” she said.
While there have been reports that Edmonton and Toronto will be the two hub locations for the Stanley Cup playoffs, Hinshaw said she hasn’t received “any news” confirming Edmonton as one of the selected cities.
“If it is, I want to assure everyone that safety is our top priority,” she said.
“This spring, we developed guidelines for professional sporting tournaments to support safety for players, NHL staff and media, and to minimize any risk of (the) virus spreading to the general public.”
Hinshaw said the approach relies on “extensive privately purchased testing,” and the players and staff forming a “cohort” separate from the public, which would reduce the risk of spread if a case were identified.
“If Edmonton is chosen … health officials will work with all applicable partners to assure guidance is followed to protect the public and those involved in the tournament.
“We will also ensure public testing is in no way impacted if the NHL does pick Edmonton. The free testing being offered to all Albertans will always remain our top priority.”
Edmonton currently has 223 active cases. Calgary has 222, the south zone has 49, the north zone has 34 and one case is in an unknown location.