Friday, July 23, 2021
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Chief Medical Health Officer says rising COVID-19 cases puts Alberta in “danger zone”

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For the second straight day, Alberta has hit a new record for the number of active COVID-19 cases.

There are currently 3203 active cases across the province, an increase of 65 from Monday’s record high, and numbers not seen since the end of April when there were 3022 active cases.

Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw says the province is at a compounded daily COVID hospitalization rise of 3.1 per cent over the past two weeks and getting closer to the 5 per cent trigger threshold.

She says we are in what she would call “a danger zone” and that the coming weeks will “really tell that story about whether we are able collectively to bend that curve downwards or if we start to tip the wrong way and start to see our hospitals fill up and impair our ability to offer services that our healthcare system needs to be able to offer to others that are not COVID related.”

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Lethbridge reported eleven new cases of COVID-19 since Monday’s update which bumps the number of active cases up to 142.

The city now has the highest rate of active cases per 100,000 people out of any of the province’s five largest communities.

Hinshaw says health officials are not, at this time, looking at introducing stricter voluntary measures similar to those implemented in Edmonton.

She says one of the differences between the two communities is that most cases in Lethbridge can be traced to known exposures whereas in Edmonton, a large portion of the cases have unknown sources.

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Hinshaw also announced some changes to COVID-19 testing in the province, saying Alberta is pressing pause on asymptomatic COVID-19 testing for anyone with no known exposure to help reduce testing wait times, speed up results and limit the spread.

Testing will remain available for anyone with symptoms, as well as anyone who has no symptoms but is a close contact or is linked to an outbreak.

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Tina Karst

A Lethbridge College alumnus, Tina moved back to the community two years after convocation, in September 2007, to become a member of the CJOC News Team. She started as a weekend reporter/anchor and now serves as Associate News Director. When Tina’s not tracking down local news, she’s either busy at home with Jordan and their two kids or creating custom macrame pieces for a growing list of clients.

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