Alberta Health counts 34 new COVID-19 cases, monitoring increase in Edmonton zone
EDMONTON -- After processing some 2,700 tests since Sunday, Alberta counted 34 new cases of COVID-19.
That brings the total number of active cases in the province to 400, with 53 people hospitalized. Six of those individuals are in ICUs, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported Monday afternoon.
Hinshaw said Alberta Health was monitoring an increase in active cases in the Edmonton medical zone which could be traced back to two private family gatherings.
“Outbreaks such as this one linked to social gatherings are not completely unexpected now that our gathering restrictions have been relaxed. But I must stress that we have the ability to prevent such cases by continuing to follow public health measures when gathering.”
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While she commended those involved for getting tested as soon as they appeared symptomatic, she added she was concerned Albertans are falling victim to their own success.
“As our numbers have remained low, I wonder if there is a bit of a feeling that we can leave the restrictions behind us and not worry about COVID anymore, and I wonder a bit about the recent bit of an uptick in numbers — if that’s a reflection of a feeling that COVID is over, that we’re passed COVID,” Hinshaw commented, recalling a “very loud party” in her own neighbourhood over the weekend.
The province, which currently has 584 active cases of the coronavirus, reported a total of 31 new cases and one death over Saturday and Sunday.
“One of the lessons I would say we’re seeing right now is … is to remember that the new normal is not like the old, and that we have to keep protecting each other.”
Her warning was paired with a reminder that June 1 marks the start of Seniors Week in Alberta. Although the province did not count anymore coronavirus-related deaths since Sunday, Hinshaw reiterated the virus is most fatal to the elderly.
To date, 138 of the 143 people killed by COVID-19 were over 60 years or older.
“COVID will be with us for months to come and we need to continue to take action to stop the spread,” Hinshaw told Albertans.
“We will unfortunately have these measures in place until we do have a vaccine or an effective treatment that would mean people who get infected would not face the severe outcomes or consequences we see now with the proportion of patients who are most vulnerable.”
Since the pandemic started, Alberta has had 7,044 cases and 143 deaths as a result.
The government is encouraging Albertans to make use of recently expanded testing so it can better understand the prevalence of the virus.
Hinshaw’s next live update will take place Wednesday.