EDMONTON -- Alberta reported 28 new cases of COVID-19 and three more deaths Thursday.

The province has a total of 1,451 cases, 592 recoveries, 32 deaths, and 47 patients in hospital, including 14 in intensive care.

The victims are a woman in her 80s in the Calgary Zone, a woman in her 60s in the Calgary Zone, and a man in his 70s in the Edmonton Zone. One of the three was a resident at a continuing care facility.

There are now 151 cases at these homes across Alberta involving staff and residents. Earlier this week, the chief medical officer of health implemented more restrictions at continuing care homes to protect seniors.

"I know it's difficult to no longer be able to visit loved ones who reside in these facilities, but this measure was necessary to keep everyone safe," Hinshaw said.

Testing volume remained low compared to last week with Alberta Health Services conducting 1,333 tests in the past 24 hours.

"We have also had an increase in people accessing our assessment centres since we expanded the testing criteria yesterday, so I anticipate that our testing numbers will increase over the coming days."


With multiple religious holidays this weekend, Hinshaw is reminding Albertans to protect themselves and others from the COVID-19 threat and to celebrate virtually.

"This virus can too easily spread, from the touch of a serving spoon, a kiss on the cheek, or droplets carried through the breath of someone singing, chanting or even laughing," she warned Albertans.

Hinshaw reminded those planning to attend drive-in services they can only be in a vehicle with people they live with, and not to pick up others on the way.

However, Hinshaw prefers Albertans staying home this weekend, recommending virtual services and egg hunts instead.

"Set up Zoom meetings where people can sing and pray together," Hinshaw said. "Share pictures of your delicious meals and Easter hot cross buns through FaceTime.

"Be physically distant, but virtually connected."

The Alberta government will hold a COVID-19 press conference on Friday, but will send out news releases on the weekend.