The second stage of Alberta’s relaunch strategy could begin sooner than expected, says the province’s chief medical officer of health.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced the latest COVID-19 statistics during an update Wednesday afternoon.
Hinshaw said she expects a final decision will be made early next week on whether Stage 2 can begin sooner than June 19.
It’s encouraging the province reported “much lower numbers after the Stage 1 relaunch than could have been the case,” Hinshaw said, adding the province has experienced a low rate of infection since many businesses were able to open in the first stage.
“With those really encouraging numbers, my team and I did take forward some considerations for perhaps moving the Stage 2 of relaunch a little bit earlier. But again, there are still some final discussions taking place.”
Nineteen new COVID-19 cases were confirmed by the government during the update.
Of the total 7,076 confirmed cases, 6,587 have recovered, 344 are active and 145 have died.
Currently, 48 people are hospitalized due to the virus, with six of those being admitted into an intensive care unit.
The province also confirmed two new deaths on Wednesday – neither of these deaths were located within Alberta’s central zone.
There are still no confirmed active cases of COVID-19 in the central zone.
The city of Red Deer has 37 recovered cases, and Red Deer County has 15, according to geospatial mapping on the provincial government’s website.
Lacombe County and Ponoka County both have two recovered cases, while the city of Lacombe, Stettler County and Clearwater County have two each.
There are also no hospitalizations within the central zone.
Hinshaw said the government has heard feedback from recreation, fitness and sports groups regarding their placement in the staged relaunch strategy.
“We have been looking at the possibility of moving that particular group, with certain restrictions and limitations, of course, as with all places that are currently open, into Stage 2,” Hinshaw said, adding she anticipates a final decision could be communicated early next week as well.