Alberta adds 619 cases of COVID-19, five deaths since Thursday
EDMONTON -- Alberta Health reported 619 cases of COVID-19 and five deaths on Tuesday.
The province added 154 cases on Friday, 171 on Saturday, 137 on Sunday and 157 on Monday.
Alberta Health Services conducted more than 11,000 tests daily those four days, including 12,561 on Monday — the highest daily total so far.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the chief medical officer of health, also reported five deaths, increasing the province's toll to 247.
Two more people died at Edmonton's Good Samaritan Southgate Care Centre. The facility has recorded Alberta's deadliest COVID-19 outbreak with 33 deaths.
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"These residents had improved and were considered to have recovered but their conditions then worsened and sadly they passed away," Hinshaw said.
Alberta has 1,692 active cases of the novel coronavirus — the highest since May 9.
"I'm concerned about the continued rise in cases," Hinshaw said. "Our focus continues to be on limiting the spread of COVID-19 in the community and responding quickly to outbreaks when they occur. However, higher case numbers and more outbreaks can strain our frontline teams."
Hinshaw explained that a higher percentage of new cases are close contacts to known cases, and that AHS is working hard to have a faster turnaround after tests.
Also, health officials have found a pattern where people with mild symptoms are not consistently staying home when their sore throat, runny nose or nasal congestion, for example, start.
"I know that it is inconvenient and possibly irritating to stay home with a mild illness but it is absolutely critical we support each other to do this," Hinshaw said.
The city of Calgary has 640 active cases of the disease, and Edmonton, with 595 infections and an active case rate of 58.2 per 100,000 residents, is back in Alberta Health's watch.
There are currently 45 Albertans in hospital with COVID-19, 10 of whom are in ICUs.
Alberta has reported 15,093 cases of COVID-19 since March.
COVID-19 IN SCHOOLS
Hinshaw says AHS has been notified of 11 cases of COVID-19 at 11 different schools across the province since in-person classes began last week.
"Currently, the cases in school appear to be from community transmission," the chief medical officer of health said. "They're not linked to transmission within the schools."
Hinshaw explained all students whose classmate attended while infectious are currently considered a close contact and will have to self-isolate, get tested, and stay home for 14 days even if their result comes back negative.
She said it's a cautious approach that could be amended in the coming months.
The chief medical officer of health also asked parents to keep children at home when they're feeling unwell even if their symptoms are mild.