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Social gatherings, not isolated outbreaks, linked to rising cases of COVID-19 in Lethbridge

LETHBRIDGE, AB – It appears the majority of active COVID-19 cases in Lethbridge are not directly linked to current outbreaks but rather family gatherings and visits among households.

As of March 9, the city had 306 active cases – a record high.

Lethbridge previously topped out at 258 active cases on Dec. 7 during the peak of the second wave.

According to Alberta Health Services, there are seven outbreaks in the city right now but on March 9, only 13 active cases were linked to them.

In a statement provided to our newsroom, AHS says “a majority of transmissions of the virus in South Zone continue to be the result of family gatherings and visitation between households. There have been some cases linked to outbreaks at businesses and organizations in the Zone, however most locations have worked closely with Alberta Health Services (AHS) to ensure frequent testing of those on site for symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals.”

There have also been several cases reported in Lethbridge schools as of late.

Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw has mentioned repeatedly throughout the pandemic that cases reported in schools is a reflection of what’s going on in the greater community.

AHS reiterates there is testing capacity for anyone with symptoms, close contacts of a confirmed case, and those linked to a known outbreak in Lethbridge and throughout the South Zone.

“It’s critical for all Albertans to follow public health guidelines that help limit the spread of COVID-19. Please avoid social gatherings, stay home when you are feeling sick, practice physical distancing and wear a mask in all indoor public places, places of worship and indoor workplaces, unless you qualify for an exception.”

Specifics regarding COVID-19 outbreaks in Lethbridge as of March 9, 2021 (as provided to our radio station by the provincial health ministry) show very few active cases, out of the city’s total of 306, are linked to outbreaks.

Acute care facilities
Chinook Regional Hospital – 1 active case

Supportive living/home living sites
Edith Cavell Care Centre, Lethbridge – 5 cases, 1 active, 3 recovered, 1 death
Quest Support group home, Lethbridge – 5 recovered cases
The View at Lethbridge – 92 cases, 0 active, 86 recovered, 6 deaths

Other facilities and settings
Blackfoot Family Lodge Society, Lethbridge – 7 cases, 6 active, 1 recovered
Haul All Equipment, Lethbridge – 14 recovered cases
Lethbridge Alpha House – 81 cases, 5 active, 75 recovered, 1 death

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