Alberta reports 669 new COVID-19 cases as testing increases

Jan 20 2021, 2:31 pm

Alberta announced 669 new COVID-19 infections Wednesday, a bump in new daily cases on a day when testing also jumped.

The daily positivity rate actually declined to 4.5%, which Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw said is a good sign.

“It’s very encouraging to see our positivity rate steadily declining since our peak in December,” she said. “The restrictions … have so far achieved their intended outcome. What is critical is we maintain enough measures to continue going down.”

Although active cases are falling, there are still many people who need hospital and ICU care.

“We need to … go slowly in allowing additional activities to not experience a rebound if we open too quickly,” Hinshaw said.

For context, she said that about 1,500 Albertans get admitted to hospital for influenza infections in a typical year. In the 10 months of the pandemic, more than 5,000 Albertans with COVID-19 have needed hospital care.

Right now there are 744 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 124 in the ICU.

Another 21 people died of the virus in the last 24 hours, a larger death count than Alberta has seen for several days.

“I am sorry to have to report this increase today,” Hinshaw said. “Each number represents a person lost.”

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