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Alberta’s positivity rate climbs to three per cent

Thursday, 22 October 2020. Posted in Shootin' the Breeze

Alberta’s positivity rate climbs to three per cent

Alberta’s positivity rate
climbs to three per cent

South zone Covid-19 update
Compiled by Shannon Robison, Publisher

The provincial trend continues to show that social gatherings present high risk for spread of the virus.

“The leading source of exposure for active cases right now is close contacts and many of the cases that we are seeing now are the result of spread over Thanksgiving, when families gathered together,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, in her update today.

“I want to be clear: I am very concerned about the rise in numbers. We are looking seriously at the spread and determining what our next steps should be.”

More than 830 new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the past two days as Alberta reported its highest single-day infection numbers back-to-back.

“We are looking at multiple options for response to our provincial situation and there have been no decisions made yet about what that might look like,” Dr. Hinshaw said in response to being asked if further restrictions are being considered for specific areas.

“If you are waiting for that moment to take Covid seriously, to start going the extra mile, this is it."

Dr. Hinshaw also spoke again about Halloween.

She stressed avoiding large gatherings — keeping celebrations with no more than one’s household and cohort — and that anyone not feeling well should stay home and should not hand out candy.

“I believe that trick-or-treating is a safe activity if done outdoors and within a household group,” she said.

Her suggestions to keep things safe include:

  • Having children non-medical masks, either under a Halloween mask or as part of their costume
  • Keeping distanced from others
  • Encouraging kids to call out “trick or treat” from the sidewalk instead of ringing the bell or knocking
  • Wearing a non-medical mask and finding creative ways to pass out pre-packaged candy

In total, 23,829 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Alberta. Today’s update includes 427 new cases confirmed from 14,304 tests conducted. 

This is a provincial positivity rate of about three per cent and is the highest single-day count of new cases for Alberta since the beginning of the pandemic.

Pincher Creek region and Crowsnest Pass both continue to be free of the virus.

There have been 280 recoveries for a provincial recovery rate of about 84 per cent — 19,734 have recovered so far from the virus.

The number of active cases in Alberta has increased by 147 to 3,519. 

To date, there have been 296 Covid-19 related deaths in Alberta.

There are 112 people hospitalized, with intensive care admissions increasing to 18.

Dr. Hinshaw says the health system’s capacity, including staffing and other supports, is being monitored closely along with hospitalization and ICU numbers as the number of frontline health care workers off due to quarantine restrictions increases.

About nine per cent of Alberta's schools (212) are on alert or outbreak, with 561 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in these schools.

There are 101 schools with outbreaks (two or more confirmed cases in individuals who have been present at a school in the past 14 days). 

Five south zone schools are on the outbreak list. 

Four are in Lethbridge — St. Teresa of Calcutta School, Ecole La Verendrye, St. Francis Junior High School and Ecole St. Mary School. 

The fifth, W.R. Myers High School is in the Municipal District of Taber.

Twenty-seven schools are under “watch” status (five or more cases), while the others all have “open” status.

The Government of Alberta school outbreak map can be found at https://bit.ly/2FeS3FR. It currently identifies schools with two or more confirmed cases.

When a single case is confirmed to have been present at a school while infectious, and any time an outbreak of two or more cases is declared, all parents and guardians will receive a letter from AHS through their school informing them of the situation, the actions being taken and steps that will follow. 

South Zone Information – 2,154 total cases  

204 active, 15 new, 14 recoveries

1,923 people (about 89 per cent of confirmed south zone cases) have recovered from Covid-19. 

Twenty-seven people have died since the onset of the pandemic in March.

Four people are currently hospitalized with two in intensive care.

Seven outbreak sites have been identified in Lethbridge — Edith Cavell Care Centre, Columbia Assisted Living, Extendicare Fairmont Park, Lethbridge Family Services, Cavendish Farms, Children’s House Child Care Society and Meridian Manufacturing. 

Lethbridge Coalhurst Good News Centre in Coalhurst and ROC Christian Ministries in Coaldale are also listed as public outbreak sites in the zone.

Both the City of Lethbridge and Lethbridge County remain under “watch” status.

The City has 146 active cases in a population of 98,987, which is equivalent to 147.5 per 100,000.

The County has 19 active cases of Covid-19 in a population of 25,228, which equals 75.3 per 100,000. 

As of today, the City of Brooks is also under “watch” status with 15 active cases equating to 77.7 cases per 100,000 population.

Gathering restrictions and public health orders are in place with no additional measures at this time.

Community Breakdown for Thursday, Oct. 22

Data is up-to-date as of midnight Oct. 21

* Indicates a change in statistics since the last report

Pincher Creek Region – 27 total
0 active, 25 recovered, 2 deaths

Crowsnest Pass – 2 total
0 active, 2 recovered

Fort Macleod – 33 total
0 active, 30 recovered, 3 deaths

Cardston County/Kainai – 107 total
2 active, 100 recovered, 5 deaths
* 1 new active, 1 new recovery

I.D. Waterton – 0 

City of Lethbridge – 390 total
146 active, 242 recovered, 2 deaths
* 11 new active, 12 new recoveries

Lethbridge County – 113 total
19 active, 93 recovered, 1 death
* 1 new active

County of Warner – 65 total
1 active, 63 recovered, 1 death

MD of Taber – 47 total
3 active, 44 recovered
* 1 new active

City of Brooks – 1,146 total
15 active, 1,122 recovered, 9 deaths

County of Newell – 39 total
5 active, 32 recovered, 2 deaths
* 1 new recovery

County of Forty Mile – 44 total
3 active, 41 recovered

Cypress County – 36 total
3 active, 33 recovered

Medicine Hat – 89 total
5 active, 82 recovered, 2 deaths
* 1 new active

Oyen – 13 total
0 active, 13 recovered

*** Pincher Creek Region includes the Town of Pincher Creek; MD of Pincher Creek and its hamlets of Beaver Mines, Lowland Heights, Lundbreck, Pincher Station and Twin Butte; the Village of Cowley and Piikani Nation.


Pincher Creek Regional Emergency Management Organization operates a toll-free information number for those without Internet access to receive up-to-date information on the Covid-19 situation. 

All Covid-positive cases are followed up urgently by Alberta Health Services. If you have a positive test, you will be contacted directly by AHS. The Communicable Disease Control team does confidential contact tracing and follows stringent guidelines to determine who is considered a close contact. Those people will be contacted directly.

If you have a positive test, you are not expected to do your own contact tracing and are discouraged from doing so as many factors determine who is considered to be a close contact.

If you have not been contacted by AHS, you are not considered to be a close contact of a positive Covid-19 case.

School classifications are “open,” “watch,” and “enhanced.”

Open – No schools in this area have outbreaks of five or more cases. Schools remain open under Scenario 1, with near-normal operations with some public health measures. Parents may have received an alert from their school. AHS may be working with local schools, but any additional measures are localized and targeted.

Watch – School outbreak declared with five or more cases where disease could have been acquired or transmitted in the school. Schools remain open under Scenario 1 with the province monitoring risk and working with the school, school authority and AHS. Additional public health measures may be in the place within a school to control the spread.

Enhanced – Risk levels require enhanced measures to control the spread at a school or school authority level. Schools may be moved to Scenario 2 (in-school classes partially operating) or Scenario 3 (at-home learning).

Residents are to continue following all public health orders and gathering restrictions:

  • Minimum mandatory isolation for 14 days for anyone who is a close contact of someone with Covid-19, or who return to, or entered Alberta from outside of Canada
  • Minimum mandatory isolation for 10 days for anyone who has a confirmed case of Covid-19 or symptoms that are not related to a pre-existing illness or health condition: cough, fever, shortness or breath, runny nose or sore throat
  • Gatherings are limited to 50 people for indoor social events (such as weddings and funerals), 100 for outdoor social events and indoor seated/audience events, and 200 for audience-type community outdoor events.
  • No additional measures are currently in place but people are to continue maintaining physical distancing of two metres from people outside of one’s own household or cohort and to continue practising good hand hygiene.
  • The province’s relaunch status map can be viewed at COVID-19 relaunch status map | alberta.ca

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