Alberta’s chief medical officer of health says it’s too soon to determine how successful Stage 2 of the province’s economic relaunch strategy has been.
“We’ll need to be watching for some time to determine whether or not we’re in a place where we can further ease restrictions,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw said during a COVID-19 update Friday.
“The better we are all collectively able to have these increased opportunities to be out and about, and at the same time, hold on to those basic public health measures, the quicker we’ll be able to see Stage 3 come.
“If we do see a spike in transmission, as some of the U.S. states have seen when they started to open, that would delay our ability to move forward.”
The province confirmed 46 new COVID-19 cases on Friday. Of the total 7,625 confirmed cases, 512 are active, 6,961 have recovered and 152 have died.
There is still only one active case in the City of Red Deer, according to geospatial mapping on the government’s website.
Hinshaw said one of the most common questions she has received since the province entered Stage 2 of its economic relaunch strategy last Friday is: Why has the total number of active cases gone up in the past few weeks?
“We did expect to potentially see an increase in cases during Stage 2 as more Albertans began interacting in their communities,” said Hinshaw.
“So far, our hospitalization rates have remained steady and have actually gone down lightly over the past two weeks.”
The province continues to closely monitor the number of cases and hospitalization rates, said Hinshaw.
On June 5, there were 339 active cases, and now, there are more than 500.
In addition to Red Deer’s only active case, 34 have recovered from the virus in the city.
Twelve have recovered in Red Deer County, four have recovered in both the Town of Olds and Mountain View County and one has recovered in Clearwater County.
The Town of Sylvan Lake, Ponoka County and City of Lacombe each have two recovered cases, while Lacombe County and Stettler County each have three recovered cases.
Hinshaw said the province has not seen any cases linked to recent anti-racism protests throughout the province.
“What we do know is that many of those who gathered were wearing masks, which potentially mitigated that risk,” she said, adding she remains concerned about any kind of gathering where distancing is not followed or masks are not used.
“As our active case numbers creep up across the province … any kind of gathering, the more active cases we have in the community, the higher risk gatherings become.”