EDMONTON -- Alberta set a new daily high on Thursday with 1,854 cases of COVID-19 after nearly 20,000 tests.

Of the 17,743 active coronavirus cases, 511 Albertans are in hospital and 97 of them in ICU.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw also reported 14 deaths, increasing the fatal count to 575.

“These numbers are very concerning,” Hinshaw said during her briefing.


Combined, the Edmonton and Calgary health zones have more than 80 per cent of the province’s cases; however, Hinshaw says the disease is an increasing threat to smaller communities.

For example, the Municipal District of Acadia No. 34, with a population of 368, has four cases and an active case rate of 1,086.5. Smoky Lake County has 75 cases and a case rate of 890.7, and the Municipality of Jasper has 41 cases with a case rate of 730.1.

“COVID-19 is not a Calgary problem or an Edmonton problem,” Hinshaw said. “This is a provincial problem within the context of a global problem.

“It’s natural that some people living in those areas may feel safe from COVID due to their smaller populations and distance from larger urban centres.”

Hinshaw will give another update Friday afternoon.