Alberta surpassed 100 deaths in the province – a sombre milestone says Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer.
The total number of deaths in the province reached 104 Monday.
“Reaching more than 100 deaths is a sombre milestone,” said Hinshaw.
Four of the nine deaths reported Monday occurred in the last 24 hours, said Hinshaw, adding the others have occurred in the previous days or weeks.
“Sometimes it takes time to confirm a death was related to COVID-19.”
Province confirmed 70 new COVID-19 cases in the province Monday. That brings the provincial total to 5,836.
Central zone cases reached 89 Monday, an increase of one since Sunday.
The City of Red Deer has 36 cases: five active, 31 recovered. That’s a decrease of one active case since Sunday.
Red Deer County has 13 cases: two active and 11 recovered.
The City of Lacombe has two recovered cases.
Clearwater County has three cases: one active, two recovered.
Ponoka County is at two recovered cases.
The City of Wetaskiwin has eight cases: one active and seven recovered.
County of Stettler has three recovered cases, while Mountain View County has six cases: one active and five recovered.
Calgary zone has 3,905 cases with 70 deaths. South zone has 1,085 cases with six deaths. Edmonton zone sits with 503 cases with 12 deaths and north zone is at 221 cases with 15 deaths.
Central zone remains at one confirmed death.
Of the total confirmed cases, there are 89 people in hospital, 21 of whom have been admitted to intensive care units (ICU). Officials suspect 733 cases are due to community spread.
The total deaths are 104: 70 in the Calgary zone; 15 in the North zone; 12 in the Edmonton zone; six in the South zone; and one in the Central zone.
To date, 621 cases have been confirmed at continuing care facilities, and 75 residents at these facilities have died.
There have been 155,179 people tested for COVID-19 in the province. Between Sunday and Monday afternoon, 3,527 tests were completed.
Alberta has expanded its testing eligibility and list of symptoms that qualify a person for testing.
The expanded symptoms are: fever, chills, a new cough or worsening chronic cough, new or worsening shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, sore throat or painful swallowing, stuffy or runny nose, headache, muscle or joint aches, feeling unwell in general or new fatigue or severe exhaustion, gastrointestinal symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or unexplained loss of appetite, loss of sense of smell or taste, conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye.
Hinshaw said most people who get the novel coronavirus exhibit symptoms, but there are some people who do not.
In order to improve the chances of finding the cases of people who don’t exhibit symptoms, COVID-19 test will be available to all close contacts of someone with a confirmed case – whether they’re feeling symptoms or not.
“A negative test does not guarantee a person is in the clear, they could still go on to to become positive and infect others, which is why of confirmed cases who test negative will still need to complete a 14-day period of isolation from others,” Hinshaw said.
As Alberta continues to flatten the curve of COVID-19 infections, the province is ready to lift some of the restrictions on non-urgent scheduled day surgeries in regions where hospital and clinic capacity and the rate of new COVID-19 infections does not present a significant risk. A carefully controlled and phased approach will be used, with the most urgent patients and those waiting the longest receiving care first.
The first priority will be to treat patients who would be at the highest risk if their surgery was further delayed and those who have been waiting longest. AHS has created a centralized booking system, and will contact patients on wait-lists to reschedule procedures. As procedures ramp up, the province will continue to evaluate and determine additional procedures that can resume, such as short-term overnight stays.