The province announced 130 cases of COVID-19 Thursday.
Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, announced there are now 1,415 active cases in the province, while 46 people are in hospital and nine are in the ICU.
Red Deer now has 13 active cases, after reporting 10 on Wednesday.
Hinshaw once again spoke directly to parents who are concerned with sending their children back to school, saying the anxiety is common across the province.
She also gave an empassioned speech to those who might be feeling fatigued as the pandemic enters its sixth month since the first case was announced in the province.
“Pandemic fatigue is a very real thing. COVID-19 has taken many things away from us and I know I would love to be able to return to the old normal, as I’m sure all Albertans would love to be able to do.
“I think it’s quite normal for people to feel tired, especially with back to school and heightened worries about what will happen,” she said.
“Try to take a break from COVID-19 for a while. Unplug, relax and just give yourself a break from the constant stream. The reality is, we do need to pace ourselves, because we do need to be looking to a time when we have a safe and effective vaccine or an effective treatment that will reduce the risk of severe outcomes.
“Until that time, we continue to be each other’s best protection.”
She added that one of the keys as kids return to school, for both parents and children alike, is to make sure they stay home when they are sick.
That decision to stay home, she explained, will be critical in helping manage the virus over the next several months.
“We are all longing to get back to how things used to be. But COVID-19 is not going anywhere. We all have no choice but to work together and support each other in the days ahead,” said Hinshaw.
“This is not the time to let our guard down. We are all in this together. By continuing to work together, we will get through this.”
The central zone jumped slightly to 36 active cases, with no people in the hospital or the ICU.
Edmonton and Calgary zones have the majority of the cases in the province. In the Edmonton zone, there are 527 active cases, while in the Calgary area, there are 639.
Lacombe County has four active cases. The Town of Sylvan Lake currently has three active cases. The County of Wetaskiwin and Drumheller each have two active cases. Red Deer County and Olds each sit at one active case.
The province also updated guidance to allow table games at casinos and also eased an order for continuing care facilities. After the province updated the approach to visitors in July, it said there is no trend linking visitors to COVID-19. It will give operators more flexibility in adapting restrictions to reflect the needs of residents.
“These residents need joy, hope and connection, just like the rest of us,” Hinshaw said.
Previously, the government was asking residents who left the facility overnight be in quarantine for 14 days. Now, the government is using a system to rank those outings.
Only high-risk outings, such as weddings, will require residents to quarantine. Medium and low-risk outings will have less stringent guidelines. Volunteers are also allowed back on site.