“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)

“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)

1,227 additional COVID-19 cases in Alberta on Friday

Red Deer up to 155 active cases

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw is urging citizens to stay patient as the new COVID-19 measures come into effect.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, in her daily press conference, said Albertans need help out while following the new guidelines that were put in place Tuesday.

“I urge Albertans to exercise patience and kindness in the days ahead. If a line is a bit longer than usual, or an employee asks you to follow a new policy that is in place, please do not take your frustrations out on these workers,” Hinshaw said.

“These new restrictions and measures create extra work and pressure for staff, owners and operators.”

Alberta reported an additional 1,227 COVID-19 cases Friday.

The province now has 14,217 active cases of the virus and 519 people have died since the start of the pandemic.

Of the nine additional deaths reported Friday, one was a man in 80s linked to an outbreak at Rosealta Lodge in Camrose.

There are now 405 people in hospital in Alberta, including 86 in the ICU. The province completed just over 16,000 tests and now has a test positivity rate of 7.6 per cent.

The central zone is up to 950 active cases, with 25 people in hospital and five in the ICU.

Fifteen people have died in the zone. The Calgary zone has 5,164 active cases and the Edmonton zone has 6,614.

Red Deer has 155 active cases of COVID-19.

In addition to the measures put in place by the government earlier this week, they also noted Friday that fines can range from $1,000 to $100,000, for more extreme violations of the new steps.

Kaycee Madu, Alberta’s solicitor general, extended the right to about 700 peace officers to enforce the new health measures put in place by the government.

“We are not asking these officers to stop going to their day-to-day priorities, or to harass responsible Albertans going about their everyday lives,” he said.

Madu said his hope is that people comply with the public health orders, including at anti-mask rallies.

“My expectation is that those who are in violation of the measures we have put in place will have to be held accountable,” he added.

There are active alerts or outbreaks in 356 schools, about 15 per cent of all schools in the province. These schools have a combined total of 1,326 active cases, including 193 schools with outbreaks and 89 on the watch list.

Red Deer County has 55 active cases and Lacombe County has 36 active. Lacombe has 21 active, Olds has 17 and Sylvan Lake has 43.

Clearview County has 16, Kneehill County has 14 active and Mountain View County has 13 active. Camrose has 70 active and Camrose County has 25.

The City of Wetaskiwin, Wetaskiwin County and Ponoka County have 287 active cases combined.

As cases have increased in rural regions over the past month, Hinshaw addressed why that might be happening.

“We are all interconnected and people travel back and forth, and as we’ve unfortunately had an introduction in different parts of the province, we have seen many different municipalities moving into the threshold where they are experiencing 50 active cases per 100,000,” Hinshaw said.

“The bottom line is, no matter where people live in the province, COVID-19 is a risk and the precautions that need to be taken, need to be taken everywhere.”