Alberta hits single-day record after adding 1,440 cases of COVID-19 since Friday
EDMONTON -- Alberta reported 1,440 cases of COVID-19 since Friday, including more than 500 cases both Saturday and Sunday.
The province has a new pandemic high of 4,477 active coronavirus cases — an increase of 826 since the latest update —after it added 364 cases on Friday, 572 on Saturday and 504 on Sunday.
Saturday’s count is the highest daily increase Alberta has had to date.
“This weekend’s COVID-19 numbers tell the story clearly,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province’s chief medical officer of health.
“We have now crossed a tipping point, and are losing the balance we have been seeking.”
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Alberta also reported seven deaths over the weekend: four in the Edmonton zone and three in the Calgary zone.
There are 118 patients with COVID-19 in hospital, with 16 of them in ICU.
Alberta has reported 25,733 cases and 307 deaths to date.
NEW RESTRICTION FOR EDMONTON AND CALGARY
The cities of Edmonton and Calgary have the majority of Alberta’s cases with 1,786 and 1,366, respectively.
As a result, Hinshaw introduced a mandatory 15-person limit on social gatherings in both cities.
The restriction applies to gatherings such as dinner and birthday parties, wedding and funeral receptions, retirement events, baby showers, and other social events, Hinshaw explained. But it doesn’t apply to restaurants, worship services, or wedding and funeral ceremonies.
“We are following the evidence and implementing a targeted measure that will help reduce transmission and limit the risk of cases growing exponentially in both cities,” Hinshaw said. “These social gatherings tend to be less structured and can struggle to implement key measures like physical distancing and hand washing to reduce the risks of exposure.
The restriction is temporary, the doctor added. It will be reassessed in one month and lifted if each city has a reproduction value below 1 and daily case numbers consistently under 100.
Calgary, similarly to Edmonton two weeks ago, received two voluntary restrictions: keeping cohorts to a maximum of three and wearing a mask in indoor workplaces unless you’re alone in an office or there are barriers in place.
“We're in a crucial phase right now, and need to take steps to reduce the rate of growth that we're seeing, not only in Edmonton, but in Calgary as well,” Hinshaw said.
The chief medical officer of health will be back for another update Thursday afternoon.