COCHRANE— The province's COVID-19 case numbers and positivity rate appears to be one the decline.
At a press conference on Wednesday (Jan. 13) Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said the reduction in the provincial positivity rate and daily COVID-19 cases in Alberta is encouraging.
The Town of Cochrane reported 48 active cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. To date 292 cases have been identified, 243 people have recovered and one person has died.
In the last 24-hours, 875 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Alberta, after the completion of 16,000 tests.
The provincial positivity rate sits at 5.3 per cent.
Hinshaw said the Alberta health system remains under a significant strain with 820 people hospitalized, including 137 in intensive care units.
An additional 23 COVID-related deaths were reported bringing the provincial total to 1,368 to date.
The number of hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions will be the key metric to watch in the coming weeks and months, Hinshaw said, as the data will help Alberta public health understand how acute care is being impacted by COVID-19.
The province is currently unable to ease health measures due to the threat COVID-19 numbers could begin to rise again overwhelming the health system.
Hinshaw said looking forward an easement of measures will be considered based on the actions Albertans take to help prevent the spread of the virus.
“No matter what activities Albertans engage in they need to do so in a way that respects those public health guidelines,” Hinshaw said. “Ultimately if we open up and people are not following those measures and we start to see our cases rise again, with a baseline of over 800 people in hospital across the province, we can very quickly get into a difficult situation again with respect to our acute care system.”
Hinshaw said she is cautiously optimistic and Albertans have shown they can work together to bring case numbers down.
There are currently 12,838 active cases in Alberta.