Alberta records 277 new cases of COVID-19, Premier Kenney says no new modelling planned

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Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health. Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta

On Thursday, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced new voluntary measures for the Edmonton Zone due to the surge in new cases in the region. Family and private gatherings are now recommended to be a maximum of 15 people, down from the province-wide cap of 50. Masks are recommended in all indoor work settings and a limit of three cohorts is advised.

Mandatory restrictions would occur if hospitalizations increased more than five per cent over two weeks or if 50 per cent or more of intensive care beds become occupied. Currently, 86 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, of which 11 are in the intensive care unit.

Kenney said Friday the province will not enforce its way out of the pandemic.

“I want, as much as humanly possible, us to maintain our approach which is focused on people exercising personal responsibility,” Kenney said. “Because, as Dr. Hinshaw has pointed out and so have I, for every public-health restriction, there are negative and sometimes devastating broader social, economic and health consequences.”

One new death was recorded Friday of a woman in her 80s linked to the outbreak at Millwoods Shepherd’s Care Centre. However, the death toll dropped to 282 after two previously reported deaths were found to be unrelated to COVID-19 post-mortem.

The outbreak at the Millwoods Shepherd’s Care Centre now includes 53 residents and 27 staff members who have tested positive for the virus. A total of seven residents have died.

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