Alberta Health Services' central zone jumped from 162 active COVID-19 cases to 178 on Friday. Five additional deaths were reported provincewide, bringing the toll to 323. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

622 new COVID-19 cases set another daily high Friday

Province confirmed 622 additional cases Friday

The Alberta government reported a record daily high of 622 additional COVID-19 cases Friday.

According to the government’s website, there are now 5,172 active cases of the virus in the province, with 140 cases in hospital and 25 in the ICU.

Overall, Alberta has had 27,664 confirmed cases and 22,169 recovered cases. There were also five additional deaths Friday, bringing the toll to 323.

The central zone jumped from 162 active cases to 178 active.

Red Deer added eight cases and now sits at 46 active cases of the virus.

In Red Deer County, there are eight active cases, while Lacombe County has five active cases. Lacombe has two active cases and both Olds and Sylvan Lake have one active case.

The City of Wetaskiwin is up to 12 active cases.

Collectively, the County of Wetaskiwin and Ponoka County have 47 active cases. The City of Camrose has eight active cases and Camrose County has four.

Kneehill County has nine active cases and Clearwater County sits at six active cases.

The Edmonton zone remains the hardest-hit area in the province, with 2,312 active cases, and the Calgary zone has 2,034 active cases.

In an effort to speed up the turnaround time for tests, as the number of cases climbs, the government announced last week it would end asymptomatic testing, and so far, it is having the desired effect.

Friday, the government’s website showed 12,938 COVID-19 tests had been completed in the past 24 hours.

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said Thursday that in the past, the province would see anywhere from 4,000 to 5,000 asymptomatic tests per day.

When it made a change to the testing criteria on Oct. 20, the number of tests dipped. Over the past 10 days, it has also seen the turnaround time for test results improve.

“As the number of (asymptomatic) tests has reduced, we have seen our overall volume reduce. We are seeing the number of people who have symptoms – it was going up substantially, it did come down slightly, but now it’s going up again,” Hinshaw said.

“Really, this illustrates the reason we changed our eligibility criteria. So we could improve our turnaround times, and over the past 1o days, we have seen an improvement in how fast people have been able to get their test results.

“So, that change is absolutely having the desired impact and we are making sure testing is easily available for anyone who needs it.”

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

town
Town of Castor meeting highlights from the Nov. 23rd meeting

Castor’s town council has approved an interim budget going into 2021

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said growing COVID-19 case numbers continue to be a concern in the province. (Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta announces 1,077 new COVID-19 cases Thursday

There are currently 14,052 active cases in the province

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said the 500 deaths from COVID-19 in the province are a tragic milestone. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta hits ‘tragic milestone’ with more COVID-19 deaths

Province up to 500 COVID-19 deaths, adds 1,265 cases

county
County of Paintearth highlights from the Nov. 24th meeting

The County is moving to harmonize several of its policies and bylaws

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

File Photo
Sylvan Lake Town Council asks for a mask bylaw to be brought forward for consideration

The bylaw would require face coverings in all indoor Town-owned and operated facilities

The corporate headquarters of Pfizer Canada are seen in Montreal, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. The chief medical adviser at Health Canada says Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine could be approved in Canada next month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Health Canada expects first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved next month

Canada has a purchase deal to buy at least 20 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine,

People wear face masks as they pose next to a Christmas display in Montreal, Sunday, November 22, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
How to tell family their Christmas gathering is too risky and you’re not going

Dr. Hurst says it’s best to frame the conversation from a place of care, stressing safety precautions.

A sign instructs people to wear masks in downtown Calgary on Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. Pub and restaurant owners are trying to figure out how to comply with a stricter COVID-19 measure in Alberta that dictates only six people from the same household can sit at one table. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Brewpub owner pleased Alberta not closing sit-down dining as COVID-19 cases soar

Alberta’s caseload of COVID-19 infections has been growing for weeks

This undated photo issued by the University of Oxford shows of vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
Canada can make vaccines, just not the ones leading the COVID-19 race

Canada has spent more than $1 billion to pre-order seven different developing COVID-19 vaccines

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at B.C. campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

A pedestrian wears masks while out walking in front of the Alberta Legislature as the COVID-19 numbers spike in Edmonton on Tuesday November 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Doctor says Alberta restrictions not enough to reduceCOVID-19 strain on hospitals

Mithani notes people are still allowed to gather indoors at large places of worship and in bars,

Most Read