Alberta confirms 30 new cases of COVID-19, no new deaths
EDMONTON -- Alberta health officials say there have been 30 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours with no additional deaths.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said the new cases brings the total number of active cases in the province to 386.
There have been 6,811 recoveries from the disease.
Fifty-three people remain hospitalized, with six in intensive care units.
To date, the province has conducted more than 325,000 COVID-19 tests, Hinshaw said.
STAGE 2 OF RELAUNCH BEGINS
Hinsahw spoke as the province moved to Stage 2 of its economic relaunch plan Friday.
As part of Stage 2, certain services and businesses are allowed to reopen with conditions including K-12 schools for diploma exams and summer school classes, gyms, recreation centres and arenas, libraries, some surgeries and health services, personal services like manicures and pedicures, and movie theatres.
There will also be higher limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings.
However, visitation rules surrounding residents in continuing care centres remain unchanged, meaning only one essential visitor is allowed inside.
I know that some people will continue to feel anxious. It is natural to feel this way," Hinshaw said of Stage 2. "I am also keenly aware that many residents in continuing care centres, and their families continue to feel lonely and isolated."
She said Alberta Health is exploring ways to "gradually lift" those restrictions will balancing resident and staff safety.
RISE IN EDMONTON CASES NOT LINKED TO PROTESTS
Hinshaw also discussed a rise in the number of active cases in Edmonton.
Last week, that number was 58. This week, it's 149.
"While any increases are concerning, there has been no single source or cause identified," said Hinshaw. "About two-thirds of these cases are linked to known sources or outbreaks, and about one-third are not yet linked to a known source."
However, she said protests related to the Black Lives Matter movement have not yet been identified as sources for COVID-19 transmission. There has been a spike in testing numbers due to people who attended such protests responding to Hinshaw's earlier recommendation to get swabbed, she revealed.
"Having said that, it is important to stay vigilant. The freedom to protest is a critical one and preventing the spread of COVID-19 is also critical," said Hinshaw.
Alberta Health is working on a guidance document for protest organizers and attendees on how limit the spread of coronavirus.
Hinshaw also confirmed there are now seven cases of COVID-19 in staff members at Alberta Hospital in Edmonton.
She said she has not yet heard from local public health investigators as to any lessons learned or gaps that have been identified that led to the spread of the disease.