Active cases of COVID-19 in Alberta are officially decreasing, according to Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw.
Hinshaw spoke at a press conference on Friday afternoon, where she stated “we are starting to see some early positive signs in our province.”
She noted that this past Tuesday saw the lowest daily total detected cases since November 26, and Friday marked the lowest active case count (19,607) that Alberta has seen since December 5.
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However, the same update included news of 25 new deaths related to the virus, as well as hospitalizations reaching 759 and ICU admissions landing at 141.
If Albertans want the decrease in cases to continue, noted Hinshaw, they must remain vigilant.
“Our provincial positivity rate fluctuates on any given day, but is on a downward trend from the high of 10.97% on December 3,” she said.
“Now I want to be clear, our fight is far from over. We expect that hospitalizations and ICU admissions will continue to rise in the coming weeks as these are lagging indicators, meaning that it takes several weeks before changes in our case counts are seen in the demands felt in our acute care system. Our health system continues to feel the strain which will increase in the days ahead.”
She noted that it is the responsibility of each Albertan to make the right choices over the holidays, which will ultimately support the province’s frontline healthcare workers.
“What these number show us is that together we have the power to protect our communities and to change our future,” said Hinshaw.
“We must continue to do everything possible to protect the care system that we all rely on I know that a great many healthcare workers are working incredibly hard these days and will be working all through the holidays. I am grateful to all of them and to all frontline workers. It is for them that we must maintain our progress.”
As of Friday, December 18, there have been 87,581 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the province, 19,607 of which are still active, 67,159 are recovered, and 815 have died.
Hinshaw said that the recent dip in active cases and daily increases can only be maintained if Albertans continue to abide by public health measures.
“In the past we have seen COVID-19 cases level or dip before only to rise again,” she said.
“The positive indicators we are seeing can be reversed in a number of days if we all don’t keep doing our part. It is up to us to continue this momentum.”