Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw updates media on the COVID-19 situation in Edmonton on March 20, 2020. On Monday, Hinshaw confirmed 20 virus-deaths in Alberta between Sunday and Monday afternoon. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw updates media on the COVID-19 situation in Edmonton on March 20, 2020. On Monday, Hinshaw confirmed 20 virus-deaths in Alberta between Sunday and Monday afternoon. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Alberta confirmed 20 COVID-19 deaths Monday: Central zone cases spike

Some central Alberta communities under enhanced measures

The City of Red Deer has 116 active cases of COVID-19.

That’s the highest number of cases the city has seen since March.

It’s an increase of 22 cases since the last detailed update Friday when Red Deer was at 94.

According to the government’s geospatial mapping on the local geographic area setting, 54 of those cases are in Red Deer north, 52 are in Red Deer east and 10 are in southwest Red Deer (Gaetz Avenue).

Cases in central zone have increased by 94 cases over the weekend at 447. The zone sat at 353 active cases Friday afternoon.

The local zone has also recorded another virus-death. The death toll now sits at 10.

There are three people in hospital in the local zone.

To date, central zone has confirmed 1,556 cases with 1,099 recoveries.

The province confirmed 860 COVID-19 cases Monday afternoon and had 10,031 active cases with 264 people in hospital of which 57 are in intensive care.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health, said the province’s positivity rate sits at about seven per cent.

Alberta confirmed 20 additional virus-deaths Monday.

“As cases rise, our deaths will rise,” said Hinshaw.

“These rising numbers we’re seeing are straining our system in many ways,” Hinshaw said, reiterating the strain on health system, health staff and contact tracers.

“With about 1,000 new cases a day, there are about 15,000 people every day who are new close contacts.”

According to the government’s geospatial mapping with the municipality setting, Red Deer County was at 14 active cases Monday afternoon, 11 in Lacombe County, 22 for the City of Lacombe, eight in the Town of Sylvan Lake and six in Clearwater County.

With the same setting there are 39 active cases in the City of Wetaskiwin, 25 in the City of Camrose, 10 for Camrose County, one in County of Stettler, 14 for Mountain View County, one in the Town of Olds and seven in Kneehill County.

According to the government’s geospatial mapping on the local geographic area setting, east Ponoka County had 23 active cases and Rimbey (West Ponoka County and partial Lacombe County) had three active cases. Wetaskiwin County (Maskwacis) reported 112 cases.

According to the province’s status map, the City of Red Deer, Lacombe County, the City of Lacombe, Ponoka County, County of Wetaskiwin, City of Wetaskiwin, City of Camrose and Camrose County in central Alberta are communities under enhanced measures. The province defines enhanced measures as more than 50 active cases per 100,000 people.

Hinshaw reminded Albertans of the key differences between COVID-19 and influenza.

“An illustrative example is we’ve had 49 acute care COVID-19 outbreaks in just seven and a half months with 42 deaths linked to these outbreaks.

“This is far worse than the worst acute care outbreak numbers related to influenza in the past five years.”

There were active alerts or outbreaks at 309 schools – about 13 per cent of all schools in Alberta. These schools have 1,046 active cases in total. This number includes 65 schools on the province’s watch list. According to the latest data on the province’s website, Holy Family School in the City of Red Deer has an outbreak (two to four cases).



mamta.lulla@reddeeradvocate.com

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