LETHBRIDGE, AB – Lethbridge’s active COVID-19 case count has declined for a third consecutive day.

Despite nine people testing positive on Jan.20, there were enough recoveries to drop the number of active cases from 137 to 132.

Cardston County, which has seen a steady increase in new cases and active cases, added seven new cases on Jan. 20 though the number of active cases declined from 109 to 107.

Another four people tested positive for the virus in Lethbridge County.

Province-wide there were 678 new cases and a provincial positivity rate of 4.8 percent as well as 16 additional deaths.

While new daily case numbers and the positivity rate continue to decline, Alberta still has the second highest active case rate per capita in Canada.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw says that’s one of the reasons current health restrictions must remain in place “for a little while longer.”

With 726 people in hospital, 119 of them in the ICU, Hinshaw says there are just as many people in hospital today as there were on December 8th when current restrictions were put in place.

She says the health system “continues to experience significant strains and we must ease this burden as quickly as possible.”

Albertans are being asked to continue to follow public health restrictions to protect others as well as the health-care system.

As of Jan. 20, there had been 96,506 doses of vaccine administered in Alberta.