“This is deadly serious," Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said Wednesday. “I have asked for kindness, but I also ask for firmness." (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)

‘Our current situation is grim’, 11 new COVID-19 deaths, 1,155 new cases Friday

One new death is a man in his 80s from Central zone

As the province reported another 1,155 COVID-19 cases Friday, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health said “our current situation is grim.”

Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Alberta now has 10,655 active cases of the virus, with 43,925 confirmed cases and 32,835 recovered cases.

There were another 11 deaths Friday, bringing the total to 462. The province completed close to 17,000 tests over the past 24 hours and the provincial positivity rate is around 6.5 per cent.

Hinshaw once again expressed concern about the province’s growing numbers, and in particular, the rise in deaths.

She added that in the past week, the province has confirmed more new active COVID cases than it has in any previous week to date.

“I continue to be concerned about the rise of these tragic outcomes of COVID-19. Severe outcomes are not limited to those already at the very end of their lives, and it is a mistake to think so.

“This week, two individuals in their 30s died as a result of this virus,” said Hinshaw.

“While both had comorbidities, these were not, on their own, life-threatening.”

The central zone also saw a spike in cases, jumping from 508 to 564 Friday. There was also a new death in the central zone, a man in his 80s, bringing the death toll to 12 in the region.

According to the province’s geospatial mapping on the municipality setting, there are 118 active cases in Red Deer.

Red Deer County sits at 16 active cases, Mountain View County has 11 and Kneehill County also has 11.

Lacombe has 14 active cases, Sylvan Lake has 10 and Olds has nine. The City of Wetaskiwin has 46 active cases, Drumheller has 38 and Camrose has 31.

Clearwater County has six active cases and the County of Stettler has one.

Looking at local geographic areas, Ponoka (east county Ponoka) has 29 active cases, Rimbey (west Ponoka and parts of Lacombe County) has five. Wetaskiwin (Maskwacis) has 183 active cases.

“We are dealing with a multiplier effect in Alberta. We cannot afford that in our health-care facilities,” said Hinshaw.

“We cannot risk having one COVID-19 positive person who does not isolate and exposes others. I understand it is hard to not be able to see a loved one or accompany them to hospital, but we must all think beyond ourselves right now.”

There are now 310 people in hospitals across the province and 58 of those are in the ICU.

Hinshaw noted that one in four who need hospital care and one out of every six in ICU have no pre-existing medical conditions.

There are active alerts or outbreaks in 290 schools, about 12 per cent of schools in the province.

That includes schools that are currently on the watch list. In-school transmission has occurred in 166 schools, and about 87 of those had one new case as a result of that.

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