EDMONTON — Alberta had its deadliest day of the pandemic on Sunday when 20 Albertans died after they contracted the coronavirus.
Fourteen of the 20 deaths are connected to outbreaks at hospitals and continuing care facilities across the province.
Alberta has recorded 427 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began.
“As our cases rise, our deaths will rise. Every time I speak about deaths I offer condolences because each other of these people will be missed and mourned,” Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said. “The measures in place right now are literally a matter of live and death and the choices Albertans are making right now will determine our future in a few weeks.”
Dr. Hinshaw also reported 860 new infections Monday after Alberta Health Services conducted more than 12,000 tests.
With that, active infections reached 10,031 and total cases passed 40,000.
Hospitalizations increased on Monday too, with 264 Albertans admitted to healthcare facilities, including 57 in ICU.
“These numbers continue to be concerning.
“With the numbers we’ve seen in the last couple of weeks, we know there’s going to be a rise in demand for hospitalizations and ICU over the coming one to two weeks because of what we’ve seen historically in cases.”
The chief medical officer of health admitted Alberta has entered a second wave as daily cases have spiked this fall.
“I would say, yes, we are in a second wave at this point in time,” she told reporters. “About a month ago when we were looking at our numbers the possibility was still there that we could turn things around … and clearly that’s not what happened. I would say: yes, it is a second wave at this point in time, but again it’s up to us where that wave peaks and how quickly we can bring it down.”
The province’s reproduction value — a measurement that track’s a disease’s ability to spread — “unfortunately” sits at 1.2 across Alberta.
“We have not even managed to reduce our growth rates to just a flat 1,” Hinshaw said.
She encouraged Albertans to double up their efforts and follow restrictions and guideless with the hope that cases can begin to slow down within two weeks.
But she also issued a warning.
“If these measures that were put in place last Friday are not enough we will absolutely be bringing forward recommendations for additional measures because we are in a critical time.
Dr. Hinshaw’s next update is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.
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