Alberta reported its highest daily COVID-19 case count in nearly two months on Friday.
The province identified 1,100 new cases along with 300 new variant cases. Friday’s daily case total was the highest since Jan. 7 and was the first time since January daily cases were over 1,000.
About 13,000 COVID-19 tests were completed, for a test positivity rate of eight per cent. Variants of concern make up about 33 per cent of Alberta’s active case load.
Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw confirmed on Twitter that hospitalizations remain steady.
In a letter to Premier Jason Kenney, the Edmonton zone Medical Staff Association said the premier needs to urgently reinstate stricter COVID-19 public health measures.
The group of doctors said they expect daily COVID-19 cases to double over the next two weeks, with daily cases potentially reaching 1,600 per day.
“The recent rapid increase in active COVID cases in Alberta represents the predicted third wave which will dwarf what we saw in December if urgent and complete action is not taken,” part of the letter reads.
URGENT: Reinstitute Enhanced Public Health Restrictions
We expect double cases/day within 2 weeks. That would be approx 1600 #COVID19AB cases/day.
THIS IS EQUAL # OF CASES TO DECEMBER CRISIS.
— EZMSA (fundvirtualcare.ca) (@EZMSA2) April 1, 2021
“This is being driven by the more rapidly transmissible UK variant, which causes more serious consequences, bad decisions by individuals and organizations not to obey public health guidelines, a lack of enforcement of public health regulations and the government’s premature relaxation of existing COVID-19 precautions which have encouraged super -spreader events.”
Kenney said Thursday that the province did not need stricter public health measures, only better adherence by Albertans. He had previously said if the province starts to experience exponential growth of the virus, there is a possibility more measures will be put in place.
Kenney said Albertans need to refrain from gathering indoors on the Easter weekend.
“Instead of delivering a message of openness and optimism, I am here with a plea. Please, please follow Alberta’s health restrictions and guidelines this weekend and in the weeks to come,” Kenney said Thursday.
“Daily case counts and positivity rates are the highest they’ve been since the beginning of the year. Those are leading indicators, they tell us where we are headed in terms of hospitalizations, fatalities and cancellation of surgeries.”
The province did not provide location-specific COVID-19 data Friday.
As of Thursday, the Central zone sits at 741 active cases of COVID-19, with 31 people in hospital including four in intensive care.
Red Deer still has 209 active cases of the virus.
When looking at the province’s geospatial mapping for COVID-19 cases on the municipality setting, regions are defined by metropolitan areas, cities, urban service areas, rural areas and towns with approximately 10,000 or more people; smaller regions are incorporated into the corresponding rural area.
With that setting, Red Deer County has 31 active cases of the virus, Lacombe County has 41 active and Clearwater County sits at eight active.
Lacombe has 34 active and Sylvan Lake has 30 active cases, while Olds sits at 21 active. Mountain View County sits at 25 active, Kneehill County has 12 active and Drumheller has 40 active.
Camrose County sits at 14 active cases and the County of Stettler has six.
Camrose is at eight active cases and Wetaskiwin has 55 active.
On the local geographic area setting, Wetaskiwin County, including Maskwacis has 98 active. Ponoka, including East Ponoka County, has 118 active cases and Rimbey, which includes West Ponoka County and parts of Lacombe County has six active.