Roughly 1,100 more cases of COVID-19 had been discovered in Alberta as of Thursday.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health, gave an update on Twitter with “estimated” new COVID-19 numbers.
No additional deaths had been reported. Another 15,600 tests were run, with seven per cent of cases testing positive. Hospitalizations were said to be “increasing” and ICU stays were “stable.”
Hinshaw’s next in-person update is on Monday and she’s expected to estimate new numbers, via Twitter, on Boxing Day.
On Wednesday, 1,301 more cases were reported and 19 deaths, bringing the death toll to 890 in Alberta. There were 17,821 active COVID-19 cases province-wide with 8,427 in the Edmonton Zone, the highest of any Alberta health region. Hospitalizations were at 821, including 146 in ICU.
All indoor and outdoor social gatherings are currently prohibited in Alberta, however single people have been given an exemption to attend one holiday event between Dec. 23 and Dec. 28. Households can host two single people during that period.
Premier Jason Kenney said Tuesday the change is so that single people do not have to be alone on Christmas.
“Please know that the prohibition on large social gatherings remains over Christmas and I regret that we cannot make broader exemptions for holiday gatherings,” he said.
Still, Hinshaw reminded singles Wednesday not to attend any gatherings if they feel ill.
“We are now well into the holiday season for many and I want to stress yet again, how important it is that we limit our in-person interactions whenever possible,” she said.
Meantime, there has been an outbreak at the Parkland RCMP detachment, according to the province’s outbreak list last updated Tuesday.
RCMP spokeswoman Cpl. Laurel Scott said Thursday eight staff members had tested positive for COVID-19. As of Monday, three or four were in isolation.
“The majority of those people are back to work, and it really didn’t interrupt the provision of our service in any way,” she said.
There are dozens of more outbreaks in the Edmonton area.
Thirty-five long-term care facilities, 42 supportive living or home living sites, and nine acute care facilities — including hospitals — have outbreaks in the Edmonton Zone.
The acute care facilities include: Alberta Hospital, Devon General Hospital, Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, Grey Nuns Community Hospital, Leduc Community Hospital, Misericordia Community Hospital, Royal Alexandra Hospital, University of Alberta Hospital, and Villa Caritas.
The province and the Canadian Red Cross are converting the Butterdome into a field hospital as a precaution amid rising COVID-19 hospitalizations and outbreaks in acute care. There are no plans to staff the facility, but if it is needed, it would have around 100 beds for COVID-19 patients.
Ninety-one schools in the city of Edmonton also have outbreaks. Of these, 37 are on the watchlist as they had five or more cases and in-school transmission is expected.
Outbreaks are ongoing at correctional facilities including: Edmonton Institution, Edmonton Institution for Women, the Stan Daniels Healing Centre, Edmonton Remand Centre, and Fort Saskatchewan Correctional Centre.