Alberta has 49 new cases of COVID-19, bringing total to 195

Alberta has 49 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the province’s total to 195 cases, says Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province’s chief medical officer of health.

Eleven of the 195 cases may be community transmission, but investigations are continuing, Hinshaw told a news conference Friday.

Only Calgary and Edmonton seem to be seeing community transmission cases, Hinshaw said.

Ten COVID-19 patients are in hospital, including five in intensive care — three more in ICU in the last 24 hours.

Of the new cases in ICU, one is in their 70s and another is in their 60s, Hinshaw said. She did not have the age of the third new ICU patient. The two other patients in ICU are in their 40s and 60s.

“We knew this would happen; this is why were taking these extraordinary measures,” Hinshaw said. “This shows that this is a virus to be taken very seriously … every single case is one that could potentially end up in a very serious condition.”

On Thursday, Hinshaw announced the pandemic that has already claimed one life in Alberta.

An Edmonton man in his 60s died Wednesday, less than a week after being admitted to a hospital intensive care unit.

Three individuals have been reported as recovered, Hinshaw said.

Hinshaw announced new restrictions on visits to seniors’ residences. Only one visitor can see a resident at a time, and they may be subject to a questionnaire or temperature check beforehand.

“Facilities must have security staff or greeters to conduct this screening or verify that the visitor is designated,” Hinshaw said.

Exceptions will be made to family members of seniors who are dying, as long as only one visitor enters at at time, she said.

“These measures will be extremely difficult for residents of seniors facilities,” she said.

There are other ways to connect with seniors to mitigate feelings of loneliness and isolation, Hinshaw said.

“All of us can make regular phone calls to our elder loved ones part of our new normal.”

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