Saturday, September 5 marked half a year since Alberta was struck by its first case of the novel coronavirus.
As of Tuesday, Sept. 8, 3 active cases of the coronavirus have been reported in Fort Saskatchewan. Nearby, Strathcona County has 11 active cases, Sturgeon County 4, and St. Albert has 9.
On Monday, Sept. 7, an employee at the 8817-101A Street McDonald’s in Fort Saskatchewan reported they tested positive for COVID-19. The local restaurant was shutdown for the day for thorough cleaning and sanitization by a third party.
Any residents who may have visited the restaurant on August 30 are asked to take direction from Alberta Health Services.
On September 8, Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) administration confirmed positive COVID-19 cases at Glen Allan Elementary, Bruderheim School, and Fort High, with a total of three cases.
Each school was thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. All close contacts in the schools, including students, teachers, and staff, are required to quarantine for 14 days.
Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Friday cases were expected to appear in schools as students returned to in-person learning this week. She said she could not comment on specific cases but that schools with five or more positive cases would be posted on the government’s website.
“We did know that there would be cases in schools, just like we’ve identified cases in other workplaces and cases in other settings,” said Hinshaw. “We knew that because there’s COVID circulating in the community and the school reflects the community, this is something that was going to happen.”
Ahead of the long weekend, Hinshaw urged Albertans to take precautions as she announced 164 new cases.
“We cannot afford to be reckless. COVID-19 does not take holidays and we have seen weekend barbecues and other gatherings spark outbreaks in the past,” said Hinshaw.
She said Albertans should bring their own food to outings and wash their hands before and after touching high-contact areas or paying for food at a drive-thru.
“Please don’t pass around snacks, drinks, smokes, tokes or vapes. This isn’t being rude, It’s being considerate. Now is not the time for sharing anything that has been in your mouth,” said Hinshaw.
She said Alberta Parks is suggesting visitors wear a mask when in contact with people who do not live in their households.
Close contacts are currently the largest source of exposure among active cases, ahead of outbreaks and unknown exposures, Hinshaw said.
“It’s important to be cautious even when we’re with those we love,” said Hinshaw. “Even if you’re feeling even a little sick this weekend, stay home.”
Alberta currently has 1,433 active cases of COVID-19. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 14,474 cases have been confirmed and 12,799 have recovered.
Friday marked the second day in a row that no deaths were reported, keeping the total at 242.
Provincial labs marked more than one million completed COVID-19 tests to date Thursday, with 1,005,001 tests being performed on 792,965 people.
She said provincial labs are working to reduce turnaround times on tests, with flu season approaching and the school year resuming.
The Edmonton Zone currently has 544 active cases while the Calgary Zone has 638. The North Zone has 171 cases while the Central Zone and South Zone have 40 and 36, respectively. There are four cases with an unknown location.
Nationally, there have been 131,124 confirmed cases in Canada and 115,926 recoveries, show latest numbers from Health Canada. There have been 9,141 COVID-19 related deaths in the country.
Globally there have been 26,171,112 confirmed cases and 865,154 deaths, the World Health Organization reports.