Alberta government confirmed Red Deer’s first COVID-19 death Friday afternoon.
The government reported an additional 1,413 COVID-19 cases Friday.
The province also announced 25 new deaths from the virus, surpassing 800 since the beginning of the pandemic.
One of the deaths reported Friday was of a 90-year-old woman on Dec. 16. The death is linked to an outbreak at Points West Living in Red Deer.
The Points West Living outbreak was declared on Dec. 2 and as of Tuesday, had 15 COVID-positive residents. A total of 17 staff members were infected, but four have since recovered and returned to work.
Red Deer added one case and now sits at 418 active cases of the virus, with 755 recoveries.
Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said we should see the early impacts of the new restrictions in the middle of next week, but the 19,607 active cases the province reported Friday, its lowest since Dec. 5, is a strong indicator of improvement.
“We are starting to see some early, positive signs in our province,” Hinshaw said.
“Our fight is far from over. We expect hospitals and ICU admission will continue to rise in the coming weeks, as these are lagging indicators. Meaning it takes several weeks before changes in our case counts are seen in the demands felt in our acute care system.”
Hinshaw cautioned Albertans that with Christmas coming up, the province can’t afford a repeat of Thanksgiving. She said around that holiday, Alberta had between 200-300 new cases a day.
“Imagine the same kind of accelerating factor, with over 1,400 new cases. Even though this is a plateau, our new case numbers are extremely high,” she said.
“If Christmas were to serve as an accelerating factor with this current new case level, we could be well beyond 2,000 new cases a day after Christmas. I’m asking all Albertans to stay the course. We need to make good decisions for each other and for our communities.”
The province reported Friday 759 people are in hospital as a result of COVID-19, with 141 in the ICU.
There are alerts or outbreaks in 443 schools, about 19 per cent of schools in the province. Those schools have a combined total of 1,971 cases.
Central zone has 1,473 active cases, with 4,139 recovered. Fifteen people are in the hospital in the region, with four in the ICU.
Red Deer County dropped to 99 active cases and has 179 recovered. Lacombe County has 46 active and Lacombe has 26 active.
Sylvan Lake has 33 active cases and Olds has 27 active cases. Mountain County has 33 active and Kneehill County is at 23. Clearwater County has 45 active cases of the virus.
Camrose has 61 active and Camrose County has 26 active.
Ponoka County, The County of Wetaskiwin and Wetaskiwin combined have 358 active cases of the virus.