Current Health Restrictions to Remain in Place

Current Health Restrictions to Remain in Place

Michelle Pinon
News Advertiser

Despite lower case counts of COVID-19 the mandatory restrictions that were put in place on December 8 will remain in effect.

That decision by the Province was delivered by Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw on January 21.

Hinshaw stated, “In a year that has already been extremely difficult, I am proud of the sacrifices and community spirit that Albertans have shown to produce these encouraging numbers.

At the same time, we are not in the clear just yet. That is why no additional measures are being eased at this time.

There are no changes being announced today. Our cases are falling, but we still have the second highest active case rate per capita in Canada. It is also particularly important to keep our current hospitalization numbers in context. While our hospitalizations have decreased significantly from the peak, they remain high.

To put this in perspective, despite the progress we’ve made, there are just as many COVID patients in hospital today as there were on December 8th – the day that our current restrictions were first announced.

This means that our health system continues to experience significant strains, and we must ease this burden as quickly as possible.

We need to continue driving community transmission down. That is why it is essential that we keep the current measures in place for a little while longer. And why we all need to make good choices and to rigorously follow all the orders in place. We must keep limiting our in-person interactions as much as possible, in every facet of our lives.

The number of reported cases on January 20 was 678 which brought the total cases to 119,114. The number of active cases was 10,256 and the total number of recovered cases was 107,358. There were 726 people in hospital and 119 people in intensive care.

Total tests completed was 3,066,222 with 1,726,667 people tested. The number of vaccine doses as of January 20 was 96,506.

In Smoky Lake County there were 538 cases, 68 active cases, 466 recovered cases and four deaths. In Two Hills County there were 105 cases, 7 active cases, 96 recovered cases and two deaths. In Vegreville/Minburn County there were 140 cases, 14 active cases, 123 recovered cases and three deaths. In Lamont County there were 78 cases, 11 active cases, 67 recovered cases and 0 deaths. In Viking (Beaver County East) 87 cases, 1 death. In Tofield (Beaver County West) 86 cases, 5 active cases, 80 recovered cases and one death.

Hinshaw said, “There are currently active alerts in 178 schools and outbreaks in 4 schools. There are 282 total cases linked to these schools. In-school transmission has occurred in 23 schools, with 20 of these having only one new case occur as a result.

Interestingly, when we look at daily new cases in school-aged populations, this week we are seeing an average of 80 new cases a day. Significantly lower than the average of 140 new cases a day in this same population the week before school started.

Supporting students so that they can be in class provides a great benefit to our society and to our children, and it underscores the need to keep reducing community transmission to protect our schools.”