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Alberta reports 6 deaths connected to COVID-19, 70 new cases
EDMONTON -- Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported six more deaths connected to COVID-19 and 70 new cases in Alberta Wednesday.
That brings the total number of deaths to 112, while there are 3,552 recovered and 2,411 active cases.
There are 82 people in hospital, with 19 of them in intensive care.
Alberta Health Services conducted 3,494 tests in the past 24 hours.
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- More at Edmonton.ctvnews.ca/coronavirus
Forty-six of the new cases are in the Calgary Zone, 17 in the South Zone, eight in the North Zone, two in the Central Zone, one in the Edmonton Zone, and it's unclear where the remaining four cases are from.
MEAT-PACKING PLANT OUTBREAKS
Outbreaks at meat processing plants have increased to 946 cases at Cargill Foods in High River, 566 at JBS Food in Brooks and 38 at Harmony Beef in Balzac.
The chief medical officer of health says AHS and Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) are monitoring the outbreaks closely, visiting the three plants regularly to make sure their guidelines are being followed.
The health and safety measures — implemented by AHS, OHS, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Hinshaw — include temperature and symptom checks before starting work, wearing PPE, enhanced cleaning, staggered breaks and shift flexibility to prevent gatherings, additional sinks for handwashing and physical distancing.
"I want to be clear that we are monitoring each of these outbreaks very closely, working with operators to contain the spread, and making sure that all public measures are being enforced and taken seriously," Hinshaw said.
OHS is investigating what led to the Cargill and JBS outbreaks, Hinshaw said.
"I know there are many questions as to what led to such significant outbreaks," she said.
"Unfortunately, this virus is like a forest fire. Once it has started to spread, there are no simple or immediate ways to put it out. It takes time and hard work, and proven practices that slow the spread."
The province set up assessment centres in High River and Brooks to test staff, family and community members, including those without COVID-19 symptoms.