COVID-19: Alberta confirms 64 new cases in province, central zone cases at 51

COVID-19: Alberta confirms 64 new cases in province, central zone cases at 51

Red Deer cases reach 20, Lacombe at 3

Alberta government confirmed 64 new COVID-19 cases in the province Tuesday.

That brings the province total at 754. Of those, 51 cases are in central zone, an increase of five, from 46 as of Monday.

Red Deer saw an increase of three cases, bringing the city to 20 cases, from 17 as of Monday.

Lacombe also added a case bringing the total to three. Seven cases remain in Red Deer County, one in Ponoka area, eight in Wetaskiwin County, one in Innisfail and two in Olds.

The highest number of cases is in the Calgary zone at 453, followed by Edmonton zone at 187. There are 50 and 12 cases in the north and south zone respectively.

On Tuesday, the province confirmed one additional COVID-19 related death, bringing the total deaths to nine in the province.

So far, 120 people have recovered from coronavirus in the province, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health said Tuesday, an increase of 26 since Monday.

Of the 754 cases, the province believes about 75 cases are as a result of community transmission.

In the last couple days, Alberta’s testing capacity was reduced, but it’s back to normal, Hinshaw said Tuesday.

“Over the weekend, we did have a challenge with a shipment of a chemical used in the testing process, which was delayed, which arrived yesterday (Monday). So I anticipate our testing numbers will be able to increase now – to test to our full capacity again,” she explained.

Dr. Mark Joffe, vice-president and medical director for northern Alberta with Alberta Health Services, said the agency has been preparing for what could be an increasing number of cases in the province.

“I can’t give you exact numbers as to how many beds are open today, but health care workers who have been in the system for many years, are telling me that they have never seen as many beds open in our facilities as there are right now,” he said.

“We are identifying between now and April 15 about 250 beds that we will have ready for use, in case we need them, we’re in fact going beyond that capacity as well.”

Hinshaw encouraged healthy Albertans to help their communities, or to reach out to friends, family or neighbours who may be struggling.

“Last night I read about someone who was out on balcony shedding a few tears and a neighbour from another balcony overheard and called out ‘it’s going to be OK,’” said Hinshaw while encouraging Albertans to be kind to one another.

There are many religious commemerations coming up including Ramadan, Easter and Passover. Hinshaw said Albertans need to remember mass gatherings are not allowed at this time. She encourages Albertans to find innovative ways to connect with each other, like virtually, during the upcoming holidays.

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