Just seven new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed by the provincial government Friday.
“Today’s numbers mark an occasion to be celebrated,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health.
“Not only are we reporting the highest number of tests done in 24 hours in the province, we also have the lowest daily number of new cases since March 12.”
Of 7,098 total confirmed cases, 328 are active, 6,624 have recovered and 146 have died. No new deaths were reported Friday.
There are currently 44 people in hospital due to the virus – six of those individuals have been admitted into an intensive care unit.
There are still no confirmed active cases in Alberta’s central zone.
The city of Red Deer has 37 recovered cases and Red Deer County has 15, according to geospatial mapping on the government’s website.
Lacombe County and Ponoka County both have three recovered cases, while the city of Lacombe, Stettler County and Clearwater County have two each.
On Saturday, Alberta Health Services will release updated visitation guidelines for all patients in both acute out-patient and in-patient settings at hospitals, said Hinshaw.
“These revised guidelines expand the allowance of some visitation, while maintaining specific criteria intended to protect patients, residents, volunteers and staff,” Hinshaw said, adding the existing standards and rules for continuing care facilities will remain in effect.
Hinshaw said anyone who plans to attend protests across the province should stay home if they’re sick, stay two metres away from others, and wear a mask wherever social distancing is not possible.
“It’s always a concern when you have many, many people gathered in the same space, because as we’ve seen in other countries, you can have events where a single infectious person can spread to hundreds, and in the worst cases, sometimes thousands of people.
“That’s exactly what we want to avoid,” said Hinshaw.
“We’ll be watching, not just protests, but all (relaunch) activities to determine how we best continue to move forward and not back in our relaunch.”
A final decision on Stage 2 of the province’s economic relaunch strategy, including when it begins and what will be allowed, is expected early next week, said Hinshaw.