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Hinshaw urged Albertans to do their part to reduce the spread this weekend by following public-health orders, including a ban on all indoor social gatherings.
“In a difficult year, I know this last month may be the toughest for many,” she said. “This virus can spread quickly from one in many. In a month usually marked by festive gatherings, we feel the restrictions more keenly.
Another 15 deaths from COVID-19 were reported in Alberta since Thursday, including two in the Alberta Health Services Calgary zone. Seven of the newly reported deaths were from one long-term care facility, the Edmonton Chinatown Care Centre.
In total, 590 Albertans have now died of COVID-19, including 238 in the past 30 days.
Admissions to hospitals and intensive-care units continue to rise in Alberta, with 533 now in hospital with COVID-19, 99 of whom are in ICU. It’s an increase of 22 hospitalizations and two ICU admissions from Thursday.
As rates of infections and hospitalization rise in Alberta, the province is looking at contingency plans for patient care if surge capacity is needed.
Dr. Verna Yiu, CEO of AHS, said the province was making plans to erect field hospitals in both Calgary and Edmonton
“While there is not a current need, it is clear that Alberta’s health-care system is under significant stress given the increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases in the province and AHS must prepare for all scenarios,” Yiu said.