Western Canada has seen a surge in new novel coronavirus cases recently it's not letting up. COVID-19 cases in Alberta have continued spiking, and the province's top doctor says it'll keep climbing for the next one to two weeks.
In her daily news conference on Thursday, July 23, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced 114 new cases of COVID-19. Additionally, two more people have died.
"This needs to be a wake-up call," she said. "I am very concerned by these numbers."
"On July 9, we had 590 active cases. Today we have nearly 1,300. Two weeks ago we had seven Albertans in the ICU. Now we have triple that number."
106 people are currently hospitalized, 21 of whom are in the ICU. Meanwhile, she continued that hospitalization is rising.
"Our current acute care utilization is approaching the highest number of admissions on any single day that we have had," said Hinshaw. The previous peak was 113 total hospitalizations on Thursday, April 30.
As for why the province has suddenly seen the high uptick in case numbers, Hinshaw attributed it to "fatigue."
"After several months of not catching the virus, it is easy to say that you feel fine, so why wash your hands?"
"This is not something to take lightly," said Hinshaw. "The guidance we have put in place is the manual for how to live with COVID-19 for at least the rest of this year and likely beyond. It is not an optional suggestion."
"We are all tired of COVID-19, but this virus doesn't care. We have no choice but to learn how to live with it," she said.
Because the current counts reflect our actions one to two weeks ago, our actions today won't be seen until potentially weeks in the future.
If we want to "bring this under control" by August, said Hinshaw, we need to start acting today.