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Alberta reports 3 deaths and 19 cases; Hinshaw 'very encouraged' with low numbers 10 days into relaunch
EDMONTON -- Three more Albertans have died after contracting COVID-19, the chief medical officer of health said Monday.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw also reported 19 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the totals to 6,879 cases — 5,979 recovered and 762 active — and 138 deaths.
There are currently 45 people in hospital, with five of them in intensive care units.
Alberta conducted 3,010 tests since Sunday's update.
STAGE 1 STATUS
Hinshaw says she's "very encouraged" by the low number of new cases and hospitalizations since Stage 1 began on May 14.
"This should be taken by Albertans as a really excellent sign and a sign of what we can accomplish together when we follow public health measures," Hinshaw said.
On Monday, restaurants and hair salons in Calgary and Brooks — the two Alberta cities with the majority of coronavirus cases — were allowed to reopen.
Health officials will keep a close eye on what kind of impact the economic relaunch in those two cities has on COVID-19 statistics before Alberta moves ahead with Stage 2.
If numbers remain low, Alberta will continue to reopen as early as June 19.
"I think that we also need to be mindful that it's not over yet," Hinshaw said. "We will continue to watch for that full incubation period."
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
The chief medical officer of health outlined how the province plans to distribute its PPE as the fight against COVID-19 continues.
Hinshaw asserted Alberta will not run out of masks, gloves and gowns. The plan remains to prioritize those at the highest risk of COVID-19 exposure, including AHS workers, frontline workers, first responders, and staff at continuing care facilities and homeless shelters.
"As Alberta moves forward with our relaunch efforts, the need for PPE to protect vulnerable Albertans remains paramount," Hinshaw said. "This is why the provincial government is keeping key groups as a priority while we change distribution process."
Earlier this month, Premier Jason Kenney said his government would distribute millions of non-medical masks to Albertans by the end of May. Hinshaw said she will release more details on those plans soon.