Alberta confirms 23 new cases of COVID-19, bringing total to 97

EDMONTON — There are 23 new cases of COVID-19 in Alberta, the largest day-over-day increase yet in the province.

Out of the 12,258 Albertans who have tested for COVID-19, 97 have the virus. There are 70 cases in the Calgary zone, 20 in the Edmonton zone, three in the Central zone, three in the North zone and one in the South zone.

Five patients remain in hospital, while all others are self-isolating at home.

Six of Alberta’s cases attended the same dental conference in Vancouver, growing the concern for community spread.

“At the moment, our community-acquired cases, the total number is really small, so I think that’s a good thing for the moment, but again, what we need to do is raise our efforts to prevent more community transmission,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the Alberta chief medical officer of health.

Hinshaw reiterated the new measures Premier Jason Kenney announced, based on her recommendation, early Tuesday afternoon:

  • A state of public health emergency
  • Cancelling mass gatherings 50 people or more, including places of worship, funerals and weddings. Grocery stores, shopping centres, health care facilities and airports are exempt
  • Prohibiting Albertans from going to public and private recreational facilities, including casinos, arenas, gym, museums, art galleries, community centres, swimming pools and libraries
  • Limiting restaurants, coffee shops and other food-serving facilities to a maximum of 50 people

READ MORE: ‘The situation is very serious’: COVID-19 pandemic prompts Alberta to declare a state of public health emergency

In order to flatten the curve, Hinshaw said Albertans need to limit the amount of time they spend in crowded places and in contact with others.

“These are aggressive steps that we do not take lightly,” the doctor said. “The more we can slow the spread of the virus down, the less likely it is that there will be a surge of cases that overwhelm our health system’s capacity to care for those that need hospitalization or intensive care.”

RESCHEDULING NON-URGENT SURGERIES

Alberta Health Services will reschedule elective and non-urgent surgeries to free up resources and focus on the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, emergency surgeries and oncology and scheduled caesarian procedures will continue.

AHS will contact affected Albertans directly.

“We ask for your ongoing patience,” Hinshaw said. “This decision will have an impact on those waiting for elective or non-urgent procedures, but it is a necessary step to ensure the health system can sustain its pandemic response and be able to respond to emergencies.”

As of 4:15 p.m., there were 598 COVID-19 cases in Canada. On Tuesday, British Columbia reported 83 new cases and three deaths.

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