Alberta reports 26 new cases of COVID-19; 1 death in Edmonton hospital outbreak
EDMONTON -- A man in his 80s has died after he contracted COVID-19 at the Misericordia Community Hospital in Edmonton, Dr. Deena Hinshaw said.
The chief medical officer of health reported 26 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Thursday, along with the death.
Six patients and five staff have tested positive in the hospital outbreak, and Alberta Health Services is testing anyone who has been in the unit recently.
"This is an isolated incident that's being investigated, and to have one outbreak in four months in acute care is very low risk," Hinshaw said.
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- More at Edmonton.ctvnews.ca/coronavirus
Active cases decreased by 32 Thursday, down to 506. There have been 7,851 cases to date — though 7,191 Albertans have recovered — and 154 deaths.
Hospitalization numbers saw a small increase Thursday, from 36 to 38, and ICU admissions also increased by two, from six to eight.
According to Hinshaw, the average age among active cases is now 39, with four Edmontonians under the age of 30 and no underlying health conditions "very sick" in hospital.
"A lower risk does not mean there is no risk at all," Hinshaw said.
The outbreak at a Calgary residential building has spiked to 32 active cases, with three "otherwise healthy" individuals in hospital.
CANADA DAY CELEBRATIONS
The chief medical officer of health is asking Albertans to be careful and prevent the spread of COVID-19 during Canada Day celebrations next Wednesday.
"COVID-19 loves a party so we can’t let our guard down," she said.
She suggests celebrating outside where the risk of contracting the virus is lower, and avoiding barbecues and potlucks.
TESTING AT PHARMACIES
The province will begin to offer testing at community pharmacies to asymptomatic Albertans as part of a pilot project starting in the coming days.
The project will include 20 pharmacies primarily located in Edmonton and Calgary.
"This is a key part of Alberta's relaunch strategy and will help us continue protecting Albertans from this virus," Health Minister Tyler Shandro said.
The test will consist of a throat swab.
AHS has conducted 415,716 tests.
Alberta Health will provide its next COVID-19 update next Tuesday.