“So far, we are in that gentle ripple, or small wave, or slow burn, as some call it,” says Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, of the number of COVID-19 cases. Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta

“So far, we are in that gentle ripple, or small wave, or slow burn, as some call it,” says Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, of the number of COVID-19 cases. Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta

158 new COVID-19 cases reported Friday in Alberta

158 additional cases Friday, Central zone sits at 21 active cases

Alberta reported another spike in COVID-19 cases Friday.

The province announced 158 additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the active case total to 1,185.

Friday’s case number was one of the highest single-day totals since late April. There are now 44 people in hospital and seven in ICUs across the province.

While the numbers have been high over the past few days, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said this week the trend doesn’t constitute a second wave of the virus.

“So far, we are in that gentle ripple, or small wave, or slow burn, as some call it. Which is essentially, we want to be able to have a minimal number of cases, so we can control the spread from each individual case, so that we’re not seeing a significant health system impact and not exponential growth in cases.

“It really is about the slope of the curve and how much transmission is happening.”

The central zone continues to experience a low number of active cases, with 21 in the region. So far, 548 people have recovered from the virus in the central zone, while one person is still in hospital.

Red Deer is down to five active cases, with 72 recovered cases.

In Red Deer County, there are just three cases, while Lacombe County has four. Camrose County, Wetaskiwin, Mountain View County and Starland County each have one case. Sylvan Lake, Olds, Lacombe and Ponoka all have no active cases.

The Edmonton zone remains the hardest hit by the virus, with 544 active cases. In that zone, 6,781 people have recovered, while 21 are still in hospital and four are in the ICU.

In the Calgary zone, there are 435 active cases, with 6,781 recoveries. Only nine people are left in hospital, with one in ICU.

The province also announced Friday that schools should have received all the personal protective equipment they will need for the upcoming school year.

“Alberta remains the only province in Canada to directly provide school authorities with PPE for their students, teachers and school staff,” said Education Minister Adriana LaGrange.

“Because of this support, every single student, teacher and staff member will receive two reusable masks; every teacher and staff member will receive one face shield; every school will receive two contactless thermometers and 466,000 litres of hand sanitizer will be distributed across the education system.”

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