Chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported four more deaths, all in Calgary continuing care facilities, increasing the province’s death toll to 125.
Fifty-eight new cases were also recorded in the last 24 hours, in which the province completed 4,505 tests for the respiratory virus. It brings Alberta’s total case count to 6,515. That includes 5,317 people who have recovered, an increase of 112 since Thursday’s update.
There are now 62 people in hospital (down by three) and nine in intensive care (down by one).
Hinshaw also announced that since Monday, 50 cases have been identified among asymptomatic people in Calgary, where there are 870 of the province’s 1,073 active cases.
“It is important to note first of all, that I do not have information on how many of these are asymptomatic close contacts of confirmed cases and how many have no known exposure,” said Hinshaw.
“Secondly, it is important to know that we do not yet have the full investigation on all these cases. We know from other jurisdictions who have done asymptomatic testing that sometimes, on further reflection, those who initially report no symptoms do identify mild symptoms they may have had earlier.”
Health officials have set the initiative to test 1,000 asymptomatic people a day in Calgary from May 11 to May 18. Hinshaw said it’s not likely that this testing strategy will be used in other parts of the province.
“We really want to focus our testing where we get the most clinical value and so the broad-base testing across the province is unlikely to yield a lot of good clinical information,” said Hinshaw.
In time for the long weekend, Alberta has also decided to increase its limit on outdoor gatherings. Fifty people will now be able to meet (up from 15), as long as they maintain a physical distance of two metres if they’re from separate households.