Red Deer has reported its first confirmed new COVID-19 case in weeks.
The city now has one active case and 34 recovered cases, according to geospatial mapping on the provincial government’s website on Friday.
There are two confirmed active cases of the virus in Alberta’s central zone – one each in Red Deer and Kneehill County.
The news comes as provincially, more young people have been testing positive for COVID-19 over the past few weeks, said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical health officer.
“We are seeing a particular increase in those between 20 and 29,” she said Friday.
“It is important for younger Albertans to remember that while you may not be at risk for severe outcomes of infection, your actions are critical to protecting those around you who are at higher risk.”
With Stage 2 of Alberta’s economic relaunch strategy beginning Friday, Hinshaw said it’s important people remember the virus is not gone.
“COVID-19 is still circulating in our communities and will do so for many months to come.
“With the the increased opportunity for activities and gatherings, there is increased potential for all of us to be exposed to COVID-19.”
The province confirmed 30 new COVID-19 cases during a live update Friday afternoon.
Of the total 7,346 confirmed cases, 386 are active, 6,811 have recovered and 149 have died.
Sixty per cent of currently active cases are under the age of 40, said Hinshaw.
The government identified an active case in Clearwater County on Thursday, but there are now no confirmed active cases located in that region.
Lacombe County and Stettler County both have three recovered cases, while Mountain View County and the Town of Olds have four recovered cases each.
The City of Lacombe, Town of Sylvan Lake and Ponoka County each have two recovered cases. Red Deer County has 12 recovered cases and Clearwater County has one recovered case.
There are currently 53 Albertans hospitalized due to the virus. Six of those individuals have been admitted into an intensive care unit.
The City of Edmonton has seen a rise in cases, Hinshaw said.
“In the past three weeks, the number of active cases has risen from 58 to 149. While any increase in concerning, there has been no single source identified,” she said.
About two-thirds of these cases are linked to known sources of outbreaks.
“We are watching these cases closely and will communicate to Albertans if there is any cause for alarm,” said Hinshaw.
“I have been asked if the increase earlier this week might partially be the result of recent protests in the city. I can tell you that is not the case, as any transmission would take days to work through the system.”