Alberta reported 1,227 new cases of COVID-19 and nine new deaths on Friday.
That brings the number of active cases to 14,217. The number of people in hospital is 405, including 86 in intensive care.
The new deaths bring the total to 519.
Today is the last day of school-based classes for junior and senior high students in Alberta, and the wait has begun to see what impact, if any, new government measures will have on the outbreak of COVID-19 in the province.
For the next three weeks, Grade 7 to 12 classrooms will remain vacant. Indoor social gatherings are banned, outdoor gatherings are limited to 10 people and access to some businesses will be limited, while masks will be mandatory in indoor workplaces in Edmonton and Calgary.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief health medical officer, says it will be 10 to 14 days before we see if the new measures can boost COVID-19 case numbers.
Until then, it looks like the numbers are going to soar as they did through November. On Thursday, the number of active cases in Alberta fell by 14,000 while the number of the dead broke 500.
Public health critics and the province’s most vocal doctors fear the government will wait too long to act.
They highlight the number of people hospitalized and in ICU, which Hinshaw himself considers to be key metrics in the fight.
Almost daily those numbers set new records. On Friday, 405 people were hospitalized, 86 of them in ICU.
Critics also claim that the restrictions do not go far enough, saying that if we have to wait 10 days to know for sure, it might be too late to get the disease under control.
Operational cases in Alberta break down among regions such as:
- Edmonton Zone: 6,614 cases
- Calgary Zone: 5,164 cases
- Central zone: 950 cases
- North zone: 769 cases
- South zone: 634 cases
- Unknown: 86 cases