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Alberta reports 50 new cases of COVID-19, 1 death
Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, provides an update on Tuesday, April 14, 2020, on COVID-19 and the ongoing work to protect public health. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
EDMONTON -- Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported 50 new cases of COVID-19 and one more death Thursday.
There have been a total of 6,457 cases of the coronavirus in Alberta since the pandemic began, although only 1,131 of those remain active.
The province's death toll is now at 121.
Hospital numbers continue to trend down with 65 cases receiving care and 10 in ICU.
- Infographics: COVID-19 in Alberta by the numbers
- This is what we know about Alberta's COVID-19 cases
- More at Edmonton.ctvnews.ca/coronavirus
STAGE 1 STARTS
Alberta began to relaunch parts of its economy on Thursday, with some hair salons and barbershops, restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars reopening to customers.
But Calgary and Brooks, where the majority of the current active cases are located, were left out of parts of Thursday's relaunch. The chief medical officer of health says she understand the frustration of residents in those communities, but asks for patience.
"I've heard concerns from Calgarians and residents of Brooks who are feeling that it's unfair we're taking a more gradual approach to relaunch in their communities," Hinshaw said. "The reason for this 10-day wait is to allow us to monitor any increase in spread cause by the opening of retail, daycare, and other activities in these communities where there is a higher baseline rate."
- 'We're not ready': Some restaurants waiting to reopen dine-in service
- Hair salon owners report back on 'due diligence' required for first day of relaunch
- Malls going the distance for safety as reopenings begin
While retail stores and daycares could reopen in Calgary and Brooks Thursday, hair salons and restaurants will have to wait until May 25.
SHOULD YOU WEAR A FACE MASK?
Dr. Hinshaw has not required Albertans to wear a face mask during the pandemic, but recommended them in spaces where you can't keep a physical distance of at least two metres.
Now that Albertans will begin to go to restaurants, malls and museums, Hinshaw says wearing non-medical masks can limit exposure to COVID-19 and protect others.
"Remember, even if you were feeling fine and showing no signs of symptoms, you may still be able to transmit the virus to others," Hinshaw said. "Masks will keep any respiratory drops that you may put out."
For guidance on non-medical face masks, visit Alberta's COVID-19 page. Tips include when and how to wear masks, as well as how to remove and take care of them.
"I strongly encourage you to review these guidelines, or to think about where in your daily routines you might be able to adopt the use of asks," Hinshaw said.