EDMONTON -- The Alberta government reported nine more deaths as a result of COVID-19 Monday — the highest daily death toll in the pandemic so far.

With 70 new cases, the province-wide totals are now at 5,836 cases, 2,942 recoveries and 104 deaths. Four of the nine new deaths occurred in the past 24 hours, Dr. Deena Hinshaw specified.

"Reaching more than 100 deaths is a sombre milestone," the chief medical officer of health said. "As the number of deaths in our province increases, so does the number of grieving families and loved ones.

There are now 89 people in hospital with COVID-19, with 21 in intensive care units.

Dr. Hinshaw also reported a new outbreak in Calgary, this time at a Purolator distribution centre where 30 employees tested positive for the coronavirus.


Aside from fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath and runny nose, Hinshaw said people experiencing the following symptoms qualify for COVID-19 tests: headache, muscle or joint aches, feeling unwell, fatigue or severe exhaustion, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, unexplained loss of appetite, loss of sense of smell or taste, and pink eye.

"Our aggressive testing approach is helping us identify cases quickly," Hinshaw said, and mentioned AHS performed 3,775 tests since Sunday's update.

"Adding these new symptoms will allow us to be more confident that we can identify as early as possible the small percentage of cases that may present with more unusual symptoms."

Also, in an attempt to find asymptomatic cases, AHS will now test close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases. Hinshaw said this is a "necessary step."

"Asymptomatic testing of close contacts is one more tool we can use to prevent further transmission in our communities by identifying positive cases as soon as possible."

The new testing expansion also includes people newly admitted to continuing care homes across Alberta, and those returning to these facilities from hospital.