Alberta Health Services' central zone jumped from 162 active COVID-19 cases to 178 on Friday. Five additional deaths were reported provincewide, bringing the toll to 323. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

622 new COVID-19 cases set another daily high Friday

Province confirmed 622 additional cases Friday

The Alberta government reported a record daily high of 622 additional COVID-19 cases Friday.

According to the government’s website, there are now 5,172 active cases of the virus in the province, with 140 cases in hospital and 25 in the ICU.

Overall, Alberta has had 27,664 confirmed cases and 22,169 recovered cases. There were also five additional deaths Friday, bringing the toll to 323.

The central zone jumped from 162 active cases to 178 active.

Red Deer added eight cases and now sits at 46 active cases of the virus.

In Red Deer County, there are eight active cases, while Lacombe County has five active cases. Lacombe has two active cases and both Olds and Sylvan Lake have one active case.

The City of Wetaskiwin is up to 12 active cases.

Collectively, the County of Wetaskiwin and Ponoka County have 47 active cases. The City of Camrose has eight active cases and Camrose County has four.

Kneehill County has nine active cases and Clearwater County sits at six active cases.

The Edmonton zone remains the hardest-hit area in the province, with 2,312 active cases, and the Calgary zone has 2,034 active cases.

In an effort to speed up the turnaround time for tests, as the number of cases climbs, the government announced last week it would end asymptomatic testing, and so far, it is having the desired effect.

Friday, the government’s website showed 12,938 COVID-19 tests had been completed in the past 24 hours.

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said Thursday that in the past, the province would see anywhere from 4,000 to 5,000 asymptomatic tests per day.

When it made a change to the testing criteria on Oct. 20, the number of tests dipped. Over the past 10 days, it has also seen the turnaround time for test results improve.

“As the number of (asymptomatic) tests has reduced, we have seen our overall volume reduce. We are seeing the number of people who have symptoms – it was going up substantially, it did come down slightly, but now it’s going up again,” Hinshaw said.

“Really, this illustrates the reason we changed our eligibility criteria. So we could improve our turnaround times, and over the past 1o days, we have seen an improvement in how fast people have been able to get their test results.

“So, that change is absolutely having the desired impact and we are making sure testing is easily available for anyone who needs it.”

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta had 1,571 active COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta’s central zone now has 1,101 active COVID-19 cases

Provincial death toll has risen by nine

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Alberta reports 1,731 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday

The province’s central zone has 992 active cases

(Photo submitted)
Ermineskin citizen graduates vet school, is part of busy practice

Dr. Justin Hodgson is rolling up his sleeves in Meadow Lake, Sask.

Shaela Dansereau/Pipestone Flyer
Wetaskiwin City services impacted by new public health measures

Public centers and availability to public impacted by the new public health measures.

Idyllic winter scenes are part of the atmosphere of the holiday season, and are depicted in many seasonal movies. How much do you know about holiday movies? Put your knowledge to the test. (Pixabay.com)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

In this undated photo issued by the University of Oxford, a volunteer is administered the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said Monday Nov. 23, 2020, that late-stage trials showed its coronavirus vaccine was up to 90% effective, giving public health officials hope they may soon have access to a vaccine that is cheaper and easier to distribute than some of its rivals. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
Moderna chairman says Canada near head of line for 20 million vaccine doses

Trudeau created a firestorm when he said Canadians will have to wait a bit to get vaccinated

Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre speaks during a news conference Monday, Nov. 16, 2020 in Ottawa. Poilievre says building up the Canadian economy post-pandemic can't be achieved without a massive overhaul of the tax system and regulatory regime. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Conservatives attack Trudeau’s ‘reset’ but they have ideas for their own

‘We don’t need subsidized corporate welfare schemes that rely on endless bailouts from the taxpayer’

There were 47 new COVID-19 cases in Alberta Tuesday. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
Spread of COVID-19 in Brampton, Ont., linked to systemic factors, experts say

‘We’re tired. We’re numb. We’re overworked. We’re frustrated, because it’s not our rules’

A couple embrace during a ceremony to mark the end of a makeshift memorial for victims of the Toronto van attack, at Yonge St. and Finch Ave. in Toronto on Sunday, June 3, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston
‘I’ve been spared a lot,’ van attack survivor says as she watches trial alone

Court has set up a private room for victims and families of those killed in the Toronto van attack

A person enters a building as snow falls in Ottawa, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. Ottawa has been successful in limiting the spread of COVID-19 during its second wave thanks to the city’s residents who have been wearing masks and staying home, said Ottawa’s medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
People to thank for Ottawa’s success with curbing COVID-19: health officer

The city’s chief medical officer said much of the credit goes to the people who live in Ottawa

Most Read