Hinshaw to give update on COVID-19 in Alberta Monday afternoon

Hinshaw to give update on COVID-19 in Alberta Monday afternoon

Hinshaw to give update on COVID-19 in Alberta Monday afternoon

Alberta also reported seven deaths over the weekend: four in the Edmonton zone and three in the Calgary zone.

"I don't ask that you fear COVID-19, but that you respect it. COVID is a novel disease that is not just the flu - it has the ability to overwhelm our health system and weaken essential services if we let it do so", said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health, during Monday's update. "We have now crossed the tipping point and are losing the balance we have been seeking". This weekend's COVID-19 numbers tell the story clearly.

Red Deer added 14 cases over the weekend and is up to 174.

The limit doesn't apply to restaurants or organized social events like a wedding ceremony or funeral.

"These social gatherings tend to be less structured and can struggle to implement key measures like social distancing and hand washing to reduce the risks of exposure", Hinshaw said. "This 15-person limit is temporary".

Hinshaw says Alberta is in a crucial phase right now and need to reduce the rate of growth that is being seen in Edmonton and now in Calgary too.

"My honest hope is that we will see cases decline significantly enough to reassess this approach and lift it within this one-month time".

The chief medical officer of health will be back for another update Thursday afternoon.

Hinshaw also announced that voluntary measures previously recommended in Edmonton to encourage wearing masks indoors at work and to limit contacts have been extended to Calgary.

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Elsewhere, the limit for indoor social gatherings remains at 50.

The mandatory mask bylaw is now in effect in Okotoks after the town crossed the COVID-19 case threshold set by town council. The city has 39 active cases as of Monday.

Alberta Transportation Minister Ric McIver and three UCP MLAs have tested negative for COVID-19 after a case was confirmed in the provincial government last week.

She noted that a disproportionate number of outbreak-linked cases are from social gatherings.

A man in his 80s linked to the outbreak at Edmonton General Care Centre in Edmonton Zone.

Alberta reported 1,440 cases of COVID-19 since Friday, including more than 500 cases both Saturday and Sunday. There are now 16 active cases in Okotoks.

Nearly six months later, after a summer lull, active cases climbed above 3,000 again last week, and topped 4,000 on Sunday.

Alberta has reported 25,733 cases and 307 deaths to date.

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