Alberta reported 304 new cases of COVID-19 over the past three days and added eight more deaths to a growing total that has now reached 186.
There are now 1,430 active cases of the illness in the province.
The province reported 110 new cases on Friday, 103 on Saturday and 91 on Sunday.
“As we see in the case numbers, the curve is no longer flat in Alberta,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, said Monday at a news conference.
“We all need to assess our own lives for where we are at risk of spreading or contracting the virus,” Hinshaw said. “All of us can take changes to our daily routines to prevent the spread of COVID.”
Five of the most recent deaths were linked to an outbreak at the Good Samaritan Southgate Care Centre in Edmonton, four women in their 90s and one in her 80s. In all,12 residents of that facility have died. As of Monday, there were 47 active cases among residents and 14 among the staff. Another eight staff members have recovered from the illness.
Last week, Alberta Health Services considered taking over day-to-day operations of the Southgate care centre, but in the end it was decided the move was not necessary, Tom McMillan, assistant director of communications for Alberta Health, said Monday in a statement.
“To ensure the ongoing health and safety of residents at the facility, Alberta Health has asked Alberta Health Services to work with Good Samaritan to implement a number of measures, including providing oversight and leadership at the facility and working with the operator to ensure that all processes and procedures are up to standard,” McMillan said.
“AHS is working with the operator to implement a plan to ensure the facility comes into full compliance within the next month, which includes securing necessary staff. We are confident they are doing everything possible to protect the health of residents and staff.”
The other three deaths announced on Monday were two men in their 80s from the South zone and a woman in her 80s from the Edmonton Zone who died in mid-May. Her death has since been determined to have been linked to COVID-19.
“It’s important for us all to remember that these are real people who caught COVID-19 while simply living their lives,” Hinshaw said. “They went to gatherings at friends’ houses for social connection, funerals to grieve the loss of loved ones, workplaces to support their families and exercise classes for mental and physical health.
“People who catch COVID-19 aren’t bad people, and at the same time people who avoid COVID-19 exposure aren’t fearmongering. As much as possible, we need to support each other to meet our needs for human connection, meaningful employment, and access to basic requirements like food and shelter while at the same time doing our best to also protect each other from the spread of infectious diseases like COVID.”
As of Monday, 88 people were being treated in Alberta hospitals for the illness, with 17 of them in intensive-care beds.
The province now has a new risk-assessment tool to help Albertans understand their personal risk for severe outcomes should they become infected, Hinshaw said.
“This is something we have been asked for by Albertans who want to know which medical conditions are linked to the highest risk of severe outcomes.”
The regional breakdown of active cases as of Monday was:
- Calgary zone: 730 cases.
- Edmonton zone: 279 cases.
- Central zone: 162 cases.
- South zone: 142 cases.
- North zone: 110 cases.
- Unknown: seven cases.
Hinshaw again stressed that individual actions will play the most important role in getting the numbers to drop.
“When we don’t take simple everyday precautions, we let one another down,” she said. “When we have the mindset that the virus can’t touch us, or if it does, all that matters is we will personally recover, we let one another down.
“We can get back to where we were just a month ago when we moved forward with relaunch because our active case numbers were low.”
With the province doing thousands of tests each day, Hinshaw said, the fastest way to get results is online.
Albertans can access their own health information through a secure online portal called MyHealth Records, she said. The portal gives people a secure place to see their health information, including immunization records, prescribed medications and lab test results, including COVID-19 test results.