Alberta Chief Medicial Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported an additional 19 deaths due to the COVID-19 virus. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)

Alberta Chief Medicial Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported an additional 19 deaths due to the COVID-19 virus. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)

19 new COVID-19 deaths Wednesday, 1,301 additional cases

Central zone has 1,391 active cases of the virus

Alberta reported an additional 1,301 cases of COVID-19, as the province nears 900 deaths from the virus.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw expressed remorse for families who lost loved ones during the pandemic, as she announced that 19 deaths had been reported over the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 890.

“This time of year can be especially painful for those mourning the loss of a loved one and my thoughts are with you,” Hinshaw said.

Alberta now has 17,821 active cases of the virus, down 490 cases from Tuesday. The province completed over 19,000 COVID-19 tests over the past 24 hours and has a test positivity rate of 6.8 per cent.

There are 821 people in hospital across the province, with 146 in the ICU.

The central zone has 1,391 active cases, with 79 people in the hospital, including 10 in the ICU.

Red Deer sits at 358 active cases and has 944 recovered.

Red Deer County has 78 active cases, Lacombe County has 41 active, Mountain View County has 33 and Kneehill County has 22 active. Clearwater County has 36 active.

Lacombe has 24 active, Sylvan Lake has 20 active and Olds has 29 active.

Camrose has 55 active, Camrose County has 17 active.

Ponoka County, The County of Wetaskiwin and Wetaskiwin have 476 active cases combined.

As COVID-19 cases plateau in Alberta, Hinshaw said there is some new hope with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Health Canada approved that vaccine Wednesday it is expected to ship out to the provinces soon. Exact delivery dates for Alberta are still being determined.

“The incoming arrival of a second vaccine is good, but it also does not change the seriousness of our current situation,” she said.

Hinshaw also said that recent evidence suggests there is a small amount of in-school transmission of COVID-19 in the province.

She said as case numbers rose in schools throughout November, they saw a plateau in late December.

She said after the new restrictions were put in place across the province in certain communities, and elementary students were still in school, cases for that age group, as well as junior and senior high students, seemed to plateau.

She said that indicates it is other activities, like sports and recreation groups or within the community, where school-age children are picking up the virus.

“The school model in place is protective against in-school transmission. Instead, it seems it is mainly all the other in-person activities that children undertake that are exposing them to the virus and allowing them to spread COVID-19,” she said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Businesses are getting creative to keep cash flowing. (File photo)
Central Albertan lobbying government to help those affected by CERB repayments

Catherine Hay says she received a letter in November saying she had to completely repay the benefit

The newly built Parkland Regional Library Services. (Photo Submitted)
Parkland Regional Library system moves into new offices in Lacombe

“Someone with a Parkland Library card can borrow from 350 libraries in Alberta,” Ron Sheppard

The Mountain Cree Traditional Band headquarters in Mirror, Alta. has been the target of theft and vandalism. (Photo submitted)
Mountain Cree Traditional Band’s headquarters broken into five times

AWNTB says not enough been done to deter crime in Mirror, Alta.

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19.  (File photo)
750 new COVID-19 cases identified in Alberta Sunday

Central zone currently has 1,182 active cases of the virus

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

File photo
Wetaskiwin Crime Reduction Unit recovers valuable stolen property

Property valued at over $50,000 recovered by Wetaskiwin Crime Reduction Unit.

In this March 28, 2017, file photo, a dump truck hauls coal at Contura Energy’s Eagle Butte Mine near Gillette, Wyo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Mead Gruver, File)
First Nations seek to intervene in court challenge of coal policy removal

Bearspaw, Ermineskin and Whitefish First Nations are among those looking to intervene

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau vows to keep up the fight to sway U.S. on merits of Keystone XL pipeline

Canada’s pitch to the Biden team has framed Keystone XL as a more environmentally friendly project than original

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
No Pfizer vaccines arriving in Canada next week; feds still expect 4M doses by end of March

More cases of U.K. variant, South African variant found in Canada

Health-care workers wait in line at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians who have had COVID-19 should still get the vaccine, experts say

Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were found to have a 95 per cent efficacy

An empty Peel and Sainte-Catherine street is shown in Montreal, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Poll finds strong support for COVID-19 curfews despite doubts about effectiveness

The poll suggests 59 per cent remain somewhat or very afraid of contracting COVID-19

Lacombe is looking at its options for reclaiming sewage lagoons that are no longer needed. Vesta Energy Ltd. has signed a deal to use three lagoons to store water for fracking.
Map from City of Lacombe
Energy company to use former Lacombe sewage lagoons to store water for fracking

Vesta Energy Ltd. will pay Lacombe more than $100,000 a year in 20-year deal

Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said on Monday that11 more people had died from COVID-19, bringing the province’s death toll to 1,447. (Photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Eleven more Albertans die from COVID-19

There were 739 people in hospital, 120 in ICU on Monday

Most Read