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Alberta confirms 57 new COVID-19 cases, second death
EDMONTON -- There are 57 new cases of COVID-19 in the province, Dr. Deena Hinshaw confirmed Tuesday, as well as the province's second death due to the disease.
Alberta now has 358 COVID-19 cases. The province's second death is a woman in her 80s in Calgary, according to the chief medical health officer.
She was a resident of the MacKenzie Towne Long Term Care Home. One staff member and two other residents have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and 11 other residents are showing symptoms.
"This news is extremely sad for all of us," Hinshaw said. "Though we're doing everything we can to limit cases of critical illness and death from this serious virus, tragically we know that deaths will occur."
One more COVID-19 patient is now in hospital increasing the total to 19, but the number of ICU cases remained at seven. The number of suspected cases transmitted by community spread increased by four to 28.
There are 214 cases in the Calgary zone, 86 in the Edmonton zone, 28 in the Central zone, 20 in the North zone and eight in the South zone. The province is investigating where the two remaining cases are.
EDMONTON MEDICAL BONSPIEL
Another Alberta health care worker who attended a bonspiel in Edmonton two weeks ago has been diagnosed with COVID-19, bringing the total of infected to 12 out of 47 doctors who went to the tournament.
Three of the workers who contracted the virus are physicians in Red Deer, Hinshaw said. They worked for less than a day each while symptomatic and then began to self-isolate.
The province is contacting 58 patients and 97 health care workers in connection to those three cases.
"Symptoms can be mild and these physicians did not know they had been exposed to a case of COVID-19 when they became ill," Hinshaw said. "They simply finished out their shifts that they were doing, went home and self-isolated at that point.
"This experience is a reminder that it is critical to self-isolate at the first sign of symptoms."
SHOULD ALBERTA TAKE MORE DRASTIC MEASURES?
On Monday, Ontario and Quebec, with 588 and 1,013 cases respectively, announced they would close all non-essential businesses to try to curb the coronavirus spread.
Hinshaw said those provinces are further ahead in the evolution of their epidemic and that Alberta is preparing to be ready if there is a surge in cases.
Furthermore, Hinshaw said the majority of cases in Alberta are travel-related and that AHS has conducted more tests per capita than other provinces.
"So we're what we're looking at is for Alberta, based on our data and what's happening here, what makes the most sense, whether any of these additional measures make sense for us. And again, we're monitoring this on an hour-by-hour and day-by-day basis because the situation does change so quickly."
For now, Hinshaw continues to stress the importance of practicing good hygiene and physical distancing, staying home when sick, and self-isolating after returning from outside of Canada, even if there are no COVID-19 symptoms.
"Today's report of a second death and the increasing number of affected Albertans is why these aggressive measures are in place, and it's why every day we're working together to ensure that we're doing everything we can to stop the spread and keep each other safe," Hinshaw said. "Every single Albertan has a role to play."
As of 4:30 p.m., there were 2,792 COVID-19 cases in Canada and 26 deaths.