The influenza vaccine will be available at no cost starting Monday in Alberta. “The more that we can avoid influenza-related tests, emergency visits and hospitalizations, the stronger our system will be to support those with COVID-19 and all other health needs," says Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province's chief medical officer of health. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Hinshaw urges Albertans to get flu shot as COVID cases jump by 332

Alberta’s central zone now has 132 active COVID-19 cases

The province’s chief medical officer of health is asking Albertans to get their flu shot amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Influenza is not new like COVID-19, but it is very serious. Last winter, almost 8,500 Albertans contracted the flu, and ultimately, 41 died,” Deena Hinshaw said during a COVID-19 update Friday afternoon.

“Getting immunized is an easy way to protect your health. The flu shot won’t prevent COVID-19, but it will reduce your chances of getting influenza and spreading it to others.”

The provincial government announced 332 new COVID-19 cases Friday. There are currently 2,836 active cases, 18,651 recovered cases and 288 deaths caused by the virus in Alberta.

Hinshaw said people getting immunized will help support Alberta’s pandemic response.

“We can’t yet prevent COVID-19 with a vaccine, but we can help stop the flu from taxing our health system,” she said.

“The more that we can avoid influenza-related tests, emergency visits and hospitalizations, the stronger our system will be to support those with COVID-19 and all other health needs.”

Starting Monday, the influenza vaccine will be available at participating pharmacies and doctor’s offices for anyone over the age of five, said Hinshaw.

The City of Red Deer now has 35 COVID-19 cases, according to geospatial mapping on the provincial government’s website. This is four more active cases than in Thursday’s update.

Meanwhile, Ponoka County has 39 active cases, the City of Lacombe has 12, Lacombe County and Mountain View County both have nine, Red Deer County has five, Olds has four and Sylvan Lake has two.

The central zone sits at 132 active cases, which is the lowest of all Alberta Health Services zones.

The Edmonton zone has 1,525 active cases, Calgary has 820, the south zone has 202, the north zone has 145 and 12 are located in an unknown location.

The City of Calgary is been placed on the government’s virus watch list, said Hinshaw.

“We have recently seen several outbreaks in that city linked to social gatherings, and this is yet another reminder that no region is immune from this virus and that one case can quickly lead to many if restrictions are not followed.”

Hinshaw said she is not recommending any additional measures for Calgary, “but we are working with local partners to monitor the situation closely.”

Provincially, 117 people are hospitalized due to the virus – 11 of those individuals have been admitted into an intensive care unit. The central zone has three hospitalizations, but none are in ICUs.



sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Donate
Castor organization helping charities shuts down after 29 years due to COVID-19

The Castor and District Community Chest came together for the first time on Nov. 21st, 1991

town hall
Town of Castor moves forward with utility bylaw amendments, consultation to follow

It is expected that the final readings of the amendment will be passed in December

County
County’s Stan Schulmeister acclaimed as reeve for fourth one-year term

“You do the best you can for as many as you can.”

Alberta children whose only symptom of COVID-19 is a runny nose or a sore throat will no longer require mandatory isolation, starting Monday.
477 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Alberta on Thursday

Changes being made to the COVID-19 symptom list for school-age children

There were 410 COVID-19 cases recorded in Alberta Wednesday. (File photo by The Associated Press)
Alberta records 410 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday

Central zone dropped to 160 active cases

Royal Alexandra Hospital front-line workers walk a picket line after walking off the job in a wildcat strike in Edmonton, on Monday, October 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta labour board orders health-care staff who walked off the job to go back to work

Finance Minister Travis Toews said in a news release that he was pleased with the labour board’s decision

City of Wetaskiwin Mayor presenting the AUMA Above & Beyond Award to John Maude and Susan Quinn. Ren Goode/ City of Wetaskiwin.
Wetaskiwin County residents win the AUMA Above & Beyond Award

John Maude and Susan Quinn are being recognized for their role in Wetaskiwin’s sustainability.

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

Pilots Ilona Carter and Jim Gray of iRecover Treatment Centres, in front of his company’s aircraft, based at Ponoka’s airport. (Perry Wilson/Submitted)
95-year-old Ilona Carter flies again

Takes to the skies over Ponoka

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a daycare in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. Alberta Children’s Services Minister Rebecca Schulz says the province plans to bring in a new way of licensing and monitoring child-care facilities. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Alberta proposes legislation to change rules on child-care spaces

Record-keeping, traditionally done on paper, would be allowed digitally

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with US Vice-President Joe Biden on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, December 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
A Biden presidency could mean good news for Canadian environment policy: observers

Experts and observers say even a U.S. outside the Paris agreement may ultimately end up in the same place

People take a photo together during the opening night of Christmas Lights Across Canada, in Ottawa, on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. The likelihood that most Canadians will enjoy a holly jolly Christmas season of gatherings, caroling and travel is unlikely, say public health experts who encourage those who revel in holiday traditions to accept more sacrifices ahead. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Ho, ho, no: Experts advise preparing for a scaled-back COVID holiday season

Many of the holiday season’s highlights have already been scrapped or are unlikely to take place

Sen. Kim Pate is shown in Toronto in an October 15, 2013, file photo. The parliamentary budget office says a proposed law that would give judges discretion on whether to apply a lesser sentence for murder could save the federal government $8.3 million per year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel
Judicial discretion for mandatory minimum sentences for murder would save $8.3M: PBO

The result would be fewer people in long-term custody at federal correctional institutions, experts say

Husky Energy logo is shown at the company’s annual meeting in Calgary on May 5, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Husky pipeline spills 900,000 litres of produced water in northwestern Alberta

The energy regulator says environmental contractors are at the site

Most Read