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Alberta reports 47 new cases of COVID-19, two deaths
EDMONTON -- Alberta's chief medical officer of health reported 47 new cases of COVID-19 and two more deaths Monday.
The province now has a total of 6,300 cases — 4,659 recovered and 1,524 active — and 117 deaths.
Two deaths previously associated with COVID-19 were determined to be unrelated. The two latest deaths were patients at continuing care homes in the Calgary and North zones.
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- More at Edmonton.ctvnews.ca/coronavirus
There are 73 COVID-19 cases in hospital, including 12 in ICU, Dr. Deena Hinshaw said.
Alberta Health Services conducted 2,864 tests in the past 24 hours.
REOPENING AMID OUTBREAKS
With hundreds of active cases between continuing care facilities and meat-packing plants, Hinshaw says she has been asked why Alberta is moving ahead with a relaunch.
Hinshaw explained reopening may "seem odd," but "much of the province has been successful at flattening the curve."
"Hospitalizations and ICU admissions are down, recovered case numbers are up, and I'm encouraged to see fewer daily cases than even one week ago," she said.
The doctor added she's on board with the relaunch because good hygiene and physical distancing habits have caught on, the province has implemented several measures to slow down outbreaks at continuing care facilities, and testing capacity has increased significantly.
"We have the testing capacity and contact tracing ability to quickly identify new cases and prevent further spread much more promptly that we could at the start of the pandemic," Hinshaw said.
Starting Monday for one week, AHS will test up to 1,000 asymptomatic Calgarians who work outside the house "as we are still seeing higher case numbers there than the rest of the province," Hinshaw said.
Hinshaw also said the rallies at the Alberta legislature protesting her health measures are OK as long as there is physical distancing, and added she's listening to "all perspectives."
"We will advance to relaunch cautiously, but we must proceed for our collective health and wellbeing. To make this work, we will need to do this together.
"We cannot go back, we must go forward. But we are moving forward in a manner that will allow us to continue taking steps towards some idea of normalcy in the future."
ALBERTA BIZ CONNECT
With Phase 1 of reopening looming on Thursday, pending approval, the province launched a website called Alberta Biz Connect with guidance for businesses.
Thursday could see daycares, barbershops and hair salons, and restaurants and bars reopen — the last two at 50 per cent capacity.
Some in those sectors had complained as recently as last week about not having enough information from the province on how to reopen safely, and some have decided to open at a later date out of caution.
"We wanted to find the right balence between releasing the information on the website in a timely fashion while making sure that the information on there was effective and useful," said Economic Development Minister Tanya Fir.
Alberta Biz Connect includes general information about prevention and control measures, Occupational Health and Safety guidelines, and specific sector guidance.
A previous version of this story reported Alberta had confirmed 49 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.