Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw updates media on the Covid-19 situation in Edmonton on Friday March 20, 2020. nbsp;Alberta is reporting it's highest daily number of COVID-19 cases, with 364 new infections. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Alberta confirmed 323 COVID-19 cases Tuesday

Central zone active cases at 145

How bad is the COVID-19 situation in Alberta?

The province’s top doctor says “we’re in a danger zone.”

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health, said the coming weeks will be critical for Albertans.

“The coming weeks will tell that story about whether we’re able collectively to bend that curve downwards by following the guidance that’s already out there or if we tip the wrong way and we see our hospitals fill up and impair our abilities to do elective surgeries and offer services that our healthcare services need to be able to offer that are not COVID related.

“We’re not yet at that point where our system is not able to cope but we’re getting closer.”

The government confirmed 323 COVID-19 cases Tuesday (2.51 per cent positivity rate) and one additional death. The cases are as of end of day Monday.

The recent death is in the Edmonton zone. To date, 293 deaths have been linked to COVID in Alberta.

There are 116 people in hospitals across the province with the virus including 16 in intensive care.

Hinshaw said the province is watching hospitalization numbers.

“We’re currently at a compounded daily COVID hospitalization rise of 3.1 per cent across the province in the past two weeks which is getting close to the five per cent trigger threshold,” said Hinshaw.

“I’m concerned by the rise, which appears to be driven by the number of factors mainly the increase in community case counts and several hospital outbreaks.”

Central zone active cases went down slightly Tuesday to 145 from previous day’s 148. Three people remain in hospital in the zone. To date, the zone has seen 704 recoveries and 857 confirmed cases.

Over the weekend, a man in his 20s died in the Maskwacis area – central zone’s eighth virus death. The man became the second person in their 20s in Alberta to die with the virus.

The City of Red Deer’s active cases stayed the same Tuesday at 39. The cases are split between Red Deer East (19), Red Deer south west (seven) and 13 in Red Deer north, according to the province’s geospatial local geographic area map.

According to the same map, there are 45 active cases in Wetaskiwin County (Maskwacis), 12 in Lacombe and nearby Lacombe County, 12 in central and north Red Deer County and parts of Lacombe County, one in Rimbey (west Ponoka County and partial Lacombe County), two in Innisfail (south Red Deer County) and four in Olds and north north Mountain View County.

There are seven active cases in Stettler County area and four in Camrose County area.

There are no active cases in Sylvan Lake, Three Hills area, Sundre (west Mountain View County) area, east Ponoka County and Rocky Mountain House (Clearwater County) area.

About eight per cent of schools are on outbreak or alert, with 512 confirmed cases in these schools. Outbreaks are declared in 96 schools, including 26 that are on watch including Hunting Hills High School in Red Deer.

Alberta government is pressing pause on all asymptomatic testing to reduce wait times and speed up results.

Hinshaw said the asymptomatic individuals without known exposures are not significantly driving the spread in Alberta.

“Only about one in 1,000 people with no symptoms and no exposures has tested positive on average in the past seven months,” she said, adding the province needs to focus on testing where it counts.

“In the last week alone, about 30 per cent of all COVID-19 tests that our labs conducted were for Albertans who had no exposure and no symptoms. By removing these from our system, we hope to get Albertans with the highest risk of COVID their results as quickly as possible.”

Hinshaw said the province will continue to test Albertans with symptoms and those with no symptoms but is close contact to a COVID case or is linked to an outbreak.

“These are our top priorities and the people most likely to have COVID-19.”

As of Oct. 20, AHS and pharmacies will not book new appointments for Albertans seeking asymptomatic testing. All existing appointments will be honoured up to Nov. 4.



mamta.lulla@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Just Posted

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Red Deer COVID cases continue to fall

114 cases in Red Deer, down one from Saturday

File Photo
Blackfalds RCMP seeking suspects in traffic collision

RCMP are asking the public for help identifing two suspects wanted for multiple offences

Maskwacis Pride crosswalk (Left to right): Montana First Nation Councillor Reggie Rabbit, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Louise Omeasoo, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Katherine Swampy, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Shannon Buffalo, Samson Cree Nation Chief Vern Saddleback.
Pride in Maskwacis

The 4th inaugural Maskwacis Pride crosswalk painting took place on Saturday 12, 2020.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives at the 2021 budget in Edmonton on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta launches COVID vaccine lottery with million-dollar prizes to encourage uptake

The premier says the lottery will offer three prizes worth $1 million a piece, as well as other prizes

The City of Red Deer sits at 249 active cases of the virus, after hitting a peak of 565 active cases on Feb. 22. (Black Press file image)
Red Deer down to 119 active COVID-19 cases

Province identifies 179 new cases Saturday

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

In this artist’s sketch, Nathaniel Veltman makes a video court appearance in London, Ont., on June 10, 2021 as Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen (top left) and lawyer Alayna Jay look on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Terror charges laid against London attack suspect

Crown says Nathaniel Veltman’s four counts of first-degree murder constitute an act of terrorism

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Most Read