Alberta reports 277 new cases of COVID-19, Edmonton caseload swells to 1,329

Alberta reported 277 new cases of COVID-19 Friday, helping to push the number of active cases in the Edmonton zone to another record total for the third straight day. 

The capital region now has 1,329 cases, 79 more than Thursday.

Edmonton’s surging case numbers are worrying enough that health officials are urging residents to reduce their number of contacts.

But Premier Jason Kenney is resisting Ontario’s lead in imposing tough restrictions on businesses and residents.

The new restrictions in Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa bans indoor dining at restaurants and bars and closes gyms, movie theatres and casinos.

Kenney said Friday his government will continue to take a “lighter approach” when it comes to restrictions.

“We want as much as humanly possible to maintain our approach, which is focused on people exercising personal responsibility,” he said after making an agriculture announcement in Calgary.

Alberta now has 2,225 active cases with 86 people in hospital, nine more than Thursday, with 11 of those patients in intensive care.

While one additional death was reported, two deaths previously reported as COVID-19-related have been determined not to have been so and removed from the total death count, leaving it at 282.

The death involved a woman in her 80s and is linked to the outbreak at the Millwoods Shepherd’s Care centre in Edmonton.

The regional breakdown of active cases on Friday was:

  • Edmonton zone: 1,329 up from 1,250 cases Thursday
  • Calgary zone:  628 cases up from 604 cases
  • North zone:  105 cases up from 97 cases
  • South zone: 102 cases up from 92 cases
  • Central zone: 50 cases up from 39 cases
  • Unknown: 11 cases down from 14 cases

On Thursday, a record 25,383 tests were completed bringing the total number of completed tests to 1,498,064.

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health introduced new voluntary measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Edmonton Thursday as the province surged past the all-time high of recorded new cases in one day. 

All private and family social gatherings should be limited to no more than 15 people, rather than the current 50 people, Dr. Deena Hinshaw said.

Masks should be worn in all indoor work settings except when alone in work spaces such as cubicles or work spaces where workers can be safely distant from others, or where an appropriate barrier is in place, she said.

Finally, she asked people living in the Edmonton zone to limit the number of their cohorts groups to three — such as family, school and a sport or social group.

Hinshaw will provide her next update on Tuesday, after the Thanksgiving weekend.

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