As Stage 2 of the province’s relaunch continues, COVID-19 numbers are up slightly once again.
Tuesday, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, announced 45 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 7,781. There were 32 new confirmed cases Monday.
There are now 532 active cases in Alberta, nearly half of which are in the Edmonton zone. Hinshaw announced that there are now 7,096 recovered cases, as well as 37 people in the hospital and six still in the ICU. There were no new deaths Tuesday and the number remains at 153.
In the central zone, there are three active cases, with 85 recovered cases and one previously reported death.
The city of Red Deer remains at one active and 34 recovered cases.
There were no active cases in Red Deer County, Clearwater County, Lacombe County, the town of Sylvan Lake, the city of Lacombe, Ponoka County, the city of Wetaskiwin, County of Wetaskiwin and Stettler County on Tuesday.
The town of Drumheller was at one active case.
“We’ve come a long way in keeping our case numbers and hospitalization rates low,” said Hinshaw, noting that Alberta had its first case of COVID-19 on March 5.
“Let’s all continue to protect one another by acting responsibly and doing our best to follow the guidance every single day. We are each other’s best protection against COVID-19, now and in the days ahead.”
The Calgary zone still has 230 active cases, with 21 people still in hospital and three in intensive care. In the Edmonton zone, there are 236 active cases, with 12 people in hospital and two in intensive care.
The provincial government also announced Tuesday that it is investing $10 million in testing. Much of that is for serology testing, which will help the province contribute to the global evidence in the search for a vaccine, according to Health Minister Tyler Shandro.
“We know that there are people who have been infected and were never tested. Many of them simply because they never got sick. That’s where serology testing comes in,” said Shandro.
“It detects the presence of antibodies in a person’s blood and can show us if they’ve been exposed to COVID-19 in the past, and that shows us more about how the virus is spreading and how best to contain it.”
The province is currently funding four public health studies. Two studies are testing groups of Calgary and Edmonton children for antibodies of the virus. They will start in July, testing twice a year until 2022.
A third study will regularly test Albertans over the age of 45.
They will also collect random samples of bloodwork from individuals over the age of 18.