With Thanksgiving just around the corner, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health is asking people to stay safe.
“It’s best to keep gatherings within your established cohorts of up to 15 people outside your household. Smaller is safer – this is not the time for large gatherings,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw said during a live COVID-19 update Thursday afternoon.
“Food plays a big part in many holiday get-togethers. Please have one person plate everyone’s meals, so people are not sharing serving utensils, or even better, consider having pre-portioned servings, ordering takeout or perhaps having guests bring their own food.”
Thanksgiving safety tips are available on the provincial government’s website.
The City of Red Deer currently has seven active cases, which is down one case from Wednesday.
Red Deer County has two active cases, while Sylvan Lake, Olds, Wetaskiwin and Lacombe County have one each. Ponoka County has five active cases and Mountain View County has eight.
There are 19 active cases in Alberta Health Services’ central zone, which is one fewer than Wednesday’s report.
Provincially, 158 new COVID-19 cases were identified Thursday – there are 1,462 active cases, 15,467 recovered cases and 261 who have died due to the virus.
Four schools – three in Edmonton and one in Calgary – remain under the province’s watch list. There are active alerts or outbreaks in 97 schools, with 163 active cases in total. This accounts for four per cent of schools in Alberta.
“Since school started on Sept. 1, we have actually seen a week-over-week decrease, from 205, to 183, to 122 cases per week in school-age children,” Hinshaw said.
“This is despite a significant increase in testing, with over 11,000, 18,000 and 14,000 children tested in these three weeks, respectively.”
“I want to highlight these numbers, not to minimize the importance of school safety, but rather, to stress once again the importance of limiting community transmission to make school reentry successful.”
Currently, 58 people are in hospital – 14 of those individuals are in intensive care. The central zone has no hospitalizations.
Edmonton has the most active cases of any AHS zone, with 773. Calgary has 495 active cases, the north zone has 130, the south zone has 40 and five are located in an unknown area.
A total of 1,255,039 tests have been completed in Alberta.