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Alberta's chief health officer says increase in COVID-19 cases a wake-up call

"Two weeks ago, we had seven Albertans in the ICU, now we have triple that number," said Dr. Deena Hinshaw
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Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw updates media on the COVID-19 situation in Edmonton on Friday March 20, 2020. Alberta's chief medical officer of health says ballooning COVID-19 numbers in the province are worrying and should serve as a wake up call for those individuals who are no longer practicing social distancing measures. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

EDMONTON — Alberta's chief medical officer of health says ballooning COVID-19 numbers in the province are worrying and should serve as a wake-up call for those who are no longer practising physical distancing.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw says there are 114 new cases in the province and 106 people are in hospital.

She says the current acute care utilization is approaching its highest number of admissions on any single day since April 30.

Hinshaw says 21 of the hospitalized patients are in intensive care and another two people have died, bringing that total to 176.

"Two weeks ago, we had seven Albertans in the ICU," Hinshaw said. "Now we have triple that number.

"This is also a reminder that severe outcomes are not limited to the elderly. Twenty-four of those currently in hospital  are under the age of 60, including seven who are between the ages of 20 and 39."

She says she understands many Albertans are suffering from COVID-19 fatigue and might believe that they no longer need to worry about its spread.

But Hinshaw says the novel coronavirus remains a risk.

She recommends parents include a cloth, reusable mask on their back-to-school lists for the fall.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 23, 2020

The Canadian Press, with files from Great West Newspapers

 




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