COVID-19 update: 94 new cases, 'no news' on NHL hub speculation
EDMONTON -- Alberta has counted 94 new cases of COVID-19 since the province’s last update on June 30.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported Thursday that more than 6,900 tests were done June 30, and 7,600 tests on July 1.
Thirty, and 64 new cases were counted on the respective days, as well as an additional death.
A new case was reported at each Greta, Earls Tin Palace, The Pint and Local, all restaurants which closed last week after positive diagnoses. However, officials said the four new cases at each could be one person linked to all four. About half of the 44 people who were connected to the restaurant outbreaks have recovered.
To date, more than 7,500 Albertans have recovered from the virus. Forty-four people remain hospitalized, eight of whom are in intensive care.
Hinshaw reminded the public that now is not the time to relax on the precautions they take, especially as an increasing amount of cases fall in the 20-39 age group.
“It will be with us all summer, and into the fall, and it will almost certainly be here when we ring in the new year,” Hinshaw said.
“The good news is we are not powerless. It is on us to decide what the rest of 2020 will look like.”
She added the province is setting up a toll-free rehab advice line for Albertans with disabilities and caregivers. The service is supposed to offer help with exercises and care strategies, and connect them to other information and community resources.
‘NO NEWS’ ON NHL HUB SPECULATION: HINSHAW
Hinshaw started the Thursday update by addressing speculation Edmonton could be one of two NHL hub cities and host the Stanley Cup championship.
“I know many Albertans are thinking about hockey right now and wondering how the NHL’s hub event might be held in Edmonton without jeopardizing public safety. I do not have any news if Edmonton has been officially chosen by the NHL,” the doctor told Albertans.
“But if it is, I want to assure everyone safety remains our top priority.”
Hinshaw said Alberta’s proposed plan — consisting of an arrival quarantine, NHL cohort, and privatized testing provided by the hockey league — has been “accepted” and that she’s confident it is possible for Edmonton to host without taxing the public health system.
She said the last NHL conversation she was involved in was last week.
Some details still need ironing out, such as the exact protocols for workers within the “NHL bubble.”
According to the chief medical officer of health, workers inside the bubble would be able to come and go because they would be less exposed to face-to-face contact with the cohort.
“That is the dominant mode of spread of COVID-19, is through that face-to-face contact.,” Hinshaw said.
“With respect to others who may be, for example, cleaning that space, we do know of course that transmission from surfaces is a possibility,” she added, saying workers would still have to follow certain protocols. The exact measures are among the details that still need working out.
According to reports, the league has turned its eyes north of the 49th parallel due to recent spikes in coronavirus cases across the U.S.