Alberta just broke another pandemic record. On Tuesday, March 14, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, The Chief Medical Officer Of Health in Alberta, announced that the province has confirmed 138 new COVID-19 cases. This is the largest single-day jump in regards to COVID-19 in Alberta.
Dr. Hinshaw addressed the public about the new case count in her daily press conference. She also said that the vast majority of these new cases have been recorded in the Calgary Health zone. According to the numbers provided, 128 out of the 138 new cases are in the Calgary area.
The health official explained that the province is looking into why the specific region has seen such a jump.
The spike in cases could be a factor of increased testing in the Calgary zone, as the province had earlier opened up testing to any Calgarian exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.
On Monday, April 13, the province extended its testing eligibility to include any Albertan experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, cough, difficulty breathing, amongst others.
Calgary has had the highest rates of the illness from the onset of the disease in Alberta. As of now, Calgary International Airport is still one of four airports in Canada still accepting international commercial flights.
Dr. Hinshaw said that more information will be provided later in the week on how increasing testing is affecting the course of the pandemic in Alberta.
As of today, the total number of individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 stands at 1870, out of which 914 people have recovered.
Therefore, over 50% of cases have already recovered in the province. Although the steady recoveries have given us a glimmer of hope amid the pandemic, Dr. Hinshaw warned that the number of cases will rise in the coming days as a result of expanded testing.
Unfortunately, Dr. Hinshaw also announced two more deaths that have been recorded in the past 24 hours.
The new deaths include an individual from the Mackenzie Towne Continuing Care Facility, which has already recorded 21 deaths. The other death occurred at the Shepherd's Care Kensington facility in Edmonton.
Finally, Dr. Deena Hinshaw took a moment to address the mental health of Albertans. She said we might all be feeling distressed due to the current circumstances, whether it is by losing loved ones, losing jobs, or by not being able to make plans outside our homes.
Since many of us are counting down to the day we will be able to resume normal life, she said that her team will come out with structured timelines in the coming weeks so that the province can consider next steps going forward.