Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, answered questions Wednesday about the province’s return to school plan. (Photo by by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)

Alberta COVID-19 cases increase by 114 Wednesday

Red Deer up to 10 active COVID-19 cases

Alberta announced 114 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, the same day Alberta’s chief medical officer of health said the province is not requiring masks in classrooms because it could interfere with communication and learning.

“Masks alone cannot stop COVID-19,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw. “They are not a perfect solution, but rather, an additional layer of protection, on top of all the other measures in place to prevent spread.”

She added there are other measures in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in schools. The decision is also consistent with school mask-wearing policies in B.C. and Quebec, as well as in Germany.

There are now 1,403 active COVID-19 cases in the province and 12,535 recovered cases, while 50 people are in hospital and nine patients remain in the ICU.

The province also reported an additional death, bringing the total to 242.

The central zone also experienced a slight uptick in cases, with 32 incidents after 27 were reported in the region Tuesday. In total, 538 people have recovered in the zone, with one person in hospital and none in the ICU.

Red Deer also experienced a small increase, now with 10 active cases after reporting seven on Tuesday.

Lacombe County sits at three active cases, while the County of Wetaskiwin, Wetaskiwin and Red Deer County all have two active cases. Drumheller, Mountain View County and Camrose County each have one active cases.

As schools start to reopen, Hinshaw again addressed concerns about students returning to classrooms.

“Facilitating our children’s ability to return to in-school classes has a significant overall benefit to their health and the long-term health of our population, and I, therefore, felt that this was an acceptable adjustment to make,” Hinshaw said in reference to classroom mask rules.

Hinshaw also explained the process in which cases of COVID-19 in schools will be announced to the public. The government says it is committed to releasing any outbreaks in schools, which is five or more cases linked to a single school.

Part of its guidance also provides an expectation that if there’s a single case in a school, even if there’s no exposure, that parents and staff within that school will be notified.

“We have a very precautionary level for outbreak definition, so that we’re able to investigate all of those instances as promptly as possible,” she said.

Hinshaw also acknowledged the potential for the additional spread of COVID-19 as colder months approach.

“What we’re going to see this fall, really depends on how each of us takes the new-normal public health measures indoors with us, as we start to spend more time indoors,” she said.

“It’s possible we may see an increase in cases this fall, but that remains in our hands.”

The Edmonton and Calgary zones continue to be hotspots of COVID-19. The Calgary zone has 632 active cases with 15 people in hospital, while Edmonton has 538 active and 21 people in hospital.

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

Local author Eleanor Bertin thrilled to mark latest novel release

Bertin joins other authors J.L. Cole and Crystal Stewart for a book signing at Stettler’s Sweet Home on Main on Oct. 3rd

Despite pandemic challenges, the Castor Golf Course has some reasons to celebrate their 2020 season

Projects in 2020 include renovations to the club house kitchen and repairs to the roof from last year’s hailstorm

MP Damien Kurek said the recent Throne Speech lacked direction, leadership and clarity

‘It was vague, it was expensive and it’s very intrusive into provincial jurisdiction.’

Central zone down to 16 active COVID-19 cases

Alberta Health Services’ central zone is down to 16

No safe mask option for bearded members, RCMP says, but force is exploring solutions

RCMP says respirator not mandatory in all front-line situations, but sometimes needed to reduce risk

Lightning strike: Tampa Bay blanks Dallas 2-0 to win Stanley Cup

Hedman wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

Liberals seek to fast track new COVID-19 aid bill after CERB expires

Government secured NDP support for legislation by hiking amount of benefits by $100 to $500 per week

‘Worst of the worse cases:’ Alberta horse owners on alert for outbreak of fever

An outbreak of the Potomac horse fever has been declared in Alberta

The holiday everyone needs this year: Vote for your favourite in Fat Bear Week 2020

Voters will get to decide who gets to take home this year’s most coveted prize

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $50 million Lotto Max jackpot

Jackpot for the next draw will grow to approximately $55 million

Most Read