Coronavirus Canada updates: Alberta reports its largest spike in cases in months

Coronavirus Canada Updates: Alberta reports first unknown case of COVID 19 variant
Coronavirus Canada Updates: Alberta reports first unknown case of COVID 19 variant

Alberta health officials have identified 120 new cases of COVID-19, which marks the most cases and the first time it has recorded triple-digits since May 1.

It’s also the fifth straight day that the province has recorded more than 80 cases. Before the recent stretch, it had not eclipsed the 80-case mark since May 10.

“One of the most significant areas of risk are social gatherings, especially where people are not following social distancing,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer. “I’m concerned about reports of people that feel that public health measures are no longer important.”

Hinshaw said that the majority of the new cases involve people under the age of 40.

Among the province’s 9,114 total cases throughout the pandemic are 8,142 patients who have recovered, up by 15 since Wednesday. Two new deaths were also reported, as the death toll reached 165.

There are now 807 active cases in the province; 362 of them are located in the Calgary zone (up by 50), and 217 in the Edmonton zone (up by 23). Sixty-nine people are in hospital (up by five), which includes eight in intensive care (down by one).

On Thursday, Hinshaw announced that the Calgary-Centre and Calgary-Elbow are under “watch” for COVID-19, since the areas have risen above 50 active cases per 100,000 people.

At the Misericordia Community Hospital in Edmonton, there are now 53 cases linked to the “full facility outbreak,” which was declared July 8. Seventeen patients are currently in hospital in connection to the outbreak, while eight have been discharged. Nineteen staff members have also tested positive, while seven people have died.

According to the CBC, who received confirmation from Alberta Health Services, two people linked to the outbreak weren’t staff or patients but “tested positive in the community.”

In southern Alberta, the entire Willow Creek Hutterite Colony went into quarantine, according to an announcement by the Town of Claresholm, the Municipal District of Willow Creek and Livingstone-Macleod MLA Roger Reid. It’s unclear at this moment how many cases are tied to the colony.

Municipal and provincial representatives have asked the public to not discriminate against colony members, after there being reports of incidents by both businesses and residents of Claresholm.

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