There are 96 new confirmed cases of the virus in Alberta, bringing the provincial total to 968.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, announced the latest statistics at the provincial government’s daily press conference Thursday afternoon.
Overall, there have been eight confirmed COVID-19 cases in Red Deer County, three in Lacombe, one in Innisfail, one in Stettler and county, and two in Olds.
Sylvan Lake, Rocky Mountain House and Rimbey currently have no confirmed cases of the virus, according to the government’s website.
Provincially, 174 people have recovered from the virus. But two more deaths were announced Thursday: a man in his 80s in the north zone and a man in his 90s in Calgary.
Thirteen people have now died in Alberta as a result of COVID-19 – 129 have died across Canada.
Fifty-nine of the confirmed cases are in the central zone, 589 are in the Calgary zone, 247 are in the Edmonton zone, 55 are in the north zone, 14 are in the south zone and five are unknown.
Hinshaw said the government suspects 108 cases may be related to community transmission.
Seventy-four of the confirmed cases are in continuing care facilities – many of those cases are from the McKenzie Towne Continuing Care Centre in Calgary.
The government will issue new standards at these facilities that operators and staff must follow in the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 outbreak.
“These new standards, enforceable by law, will help ensure those living and working in congregate settings are kept as physically safe as possible and will mitigate the risk of further spread within and between different facilities,” said Hinshaw.
“Under the new orders, staff and operators will be required to notify public health as soon as a case is suspected or confirmed, or if two or more residents exhibit COVID-19 symptoms.
“Staff who may work at multiple facilities are required, when there is confirmed outbreak, to immediately inform their supervisors if they have worked at or are working at a facility where there is a confirmed or suspected case.”
These expectations are designed to limit the risk of spread while ensuring residents can continue to receive the care they need, Hinshaw added.