Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS

Gov’t of Alberta reports 31 new COVID-19 deaths on Saturday

There are 1,577 active cases in the central zone

The Government of Alberta has identified 989 new COVID-19 cases and an additional 31 deaths, including one in Red Deer.

Alberta now has 14,437 active cases of the virus, to go along with 94,932 recovered cases, according to the latest statistics available on the provincial government’s website on Saturday.

The City of Red Deer now has a total of nine virus-related deaths. Provincially, 1,272 have died.

Red Deer currently has 264 active cases, Red Deer County has 56, Clearwater County has 54, Sylvan Lake has 44, Lacombe has 44, Lacombe County has 37, Olds has 39, Mountain View County has 28 and Stettler County has seven.

Collectively, Ponoka County, Wetaskiwin County and the City of Wetaskiwin have 720.

There are 1,577 active cases in Alberta Health Services’ central zone. The Edmonton zone has the most active cases of any zone with 5,696, while the Calgary zone has 5,139, the north zone has 1,652 and the south zone has 300. Seventy-three active cases are located in unknown areas.

Provincially, 827 people are in hospital due to COVID-19, with 132 of those individuals in an intensive care unit. In the central zone, 88 have been hospitalized – 17 have been admitted into an ICU.

“We can all help prevent transmission and outbreaks by being extra diligent in the weeks ahead,” Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw tweeted Saturday.

“If we all keep washing our hands, staying home when sick and abiding by public health measures to prevent (COVID-19) from spreading, we can and will come through this together.”

Hinshaw said there are “encouraging signs” but the spread is still high.

“Let’s keep the momentum going by continuing to follow the current measures in place, as well as all other public health guidance,” she tweeted.

As of Jan. 8, 42,333 doses of vaccine have been administered.



sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

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