Province considering additional COVID-19 measures for Edmonton after active cases rise to 894

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Alberta’s top doctor says the province is looking at additional measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Edmonton after active cases in the city rose to 894 on Monday.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw said the large number of cases identified over the weekend in Edmonton is concerning. There has been an escalation of cases in the city and the reproductive rate of the virus has increased to 1.3.

“We are taking this seriously and looking closely at what causes are driving this increase that we are seeing,” Hinshaw said.

“Through conversation with local public health and the city, we are determining if additional measures should be recommended in the city to bring transmission down.”

While no specific measures have been settled on, Hinshaw said health officials will be looking at the surge in cases over the weekend. She emphasized the new cases seen now are a reflection of transmission events that happened one to two weeks ago.

“We should expect, no matter what changes we may or may not choose to make in the coming days to weeks, we will … likely see high numbers of cases over the next one to two weeks, which is a product of past transmission.

“We’re looking at those transmission patterns to help us understand what would be most effective and if there are other changes that we need to make to our framework to prevent Edmonton from continuing to have increasing numbers of new cases.”

An “alarming trend” that has been identified through a review of active cases is that 11 per cent of people are attending work or going to social gatherings while symptomatic and awaiting test results, Hinshaw said.

“This is a significant risk and is one of the factors causing our case numbers to rise,” Hinshaw said.

Hinshaw is urging Albertans to stay home if they are sick, including this upcoming Thanksgiving weekend.

More to come.

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