Alberta added 432 new COVID-19 cases Friday.
It marks the third straight day the number of new cases has exceeded 400 and sets a new daily case record for the province.
Alberta now has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19, with 112 people in hospital and 14 in ICU. There were also four additional deaths Friday, bringing the provincial total to 300.
The central zone held steady with 126 active cases. Only three people in the zone are in hospital with the virus.
Red Deer has one fewer active cases. It has 31 active cases, with 129 recovered.
Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said Thursday one of the more concerning aspects of the rise in cases is the uptick in infections among people aged 20 to 30.
She said that age group now how has the highest number of active cases among it.
Hinshaw noted that while young people without underlying health conditions have a low chance of dying, or experiencing a severe outcome from COVID-19, it doesn’t mean there are no consequences.
“These are not the only risks that come from contracting COVID-19 … we do not yet know the long-term consequences of getting infected. We are starting to get some clues from findings in other countries,” she said.
“Even low-risk people could face prolonged recoveries and long-term health risks from a COVID-19 infection.”
She said in one study in the U.K., a group of low-risk patients still experienced symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath and muscle aches, four months after their initial illness.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also reported that heart conditions are associated with COVID-19 and can affect people under 40.
Hinshaw said the Alberta government has been working on ways to better communicate with a younger audience, but there has been no real breakthrough yet.
“It’s challenging for people in a younger demographic, where they personally don’t have the same high risk of severe outcomes.
“And often people in that demographic, it’s a time of life where social interaction and spending time with friends is a critical part of an active, supportive social environment,” she said.
Maskwacis still has the largest outbreak in the central zone, with 45 active cases of COVID-19. Lacombe County has seven active and Lacombe sits at four.
The City of Wetaskiwin has five and the county of Wetaskiwin has two. Each of Olds, Camrose and the County of Camrose have two active cases. Rocky Mountain House also has three active cases.
The Edmonton zone has 1,751 active cases, just under half of the provincial total. The Calgary zone sits at 1,307 active, while the south zone has 234 active cases of the virus.