The latest update from the Province of Alberta stated that the province has seen its first COVID-19 death.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw made the announcement at a live press conference Thursday afternoon, stating that the man had been admitted to the ICU in Edmonton on March 12 and passed away on Wednesday.
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He had been in his 60s and had underlying medical conditions, stated Dr. Hinshaw.
“As heart-breaking as this news is, it was expected. This is a dangerous virus; while most people who become ill with COVID only experience mild symptoms, it can make others very sick. We only have to look at other countries to see how serious it is,” Hinshaw said during the update.
“We are doing all we can to fight the spread of this virus. This is why we have taken the extreme measures we have.”
She also announced that there have been 27 new confirmed cases of coronavirus over the past 24 hours.
These cases bring the province’s total to 146.
This marks the largest single-day increase in cases that the province has seen since updates became a regular occurrence last week, and brings the Canadian total to 763.
“We will get through this, but to do that we need everyone’s help. Stay home unless it is essential for you to go out; now is not the time for social gatherings. Practice social distancing if you do have to go out, including if you have to work outside the home,” Hinshaw said.
“If you are struggling with today’s news, reach out to friends and loved ones and talk. Tell them how you are feeling. Today’s sad news is precisely why we are taking aggressive measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.”
New resources have also been launched on the Province of Alberta’s website to make social distancing easier under the Prevent and Prepare section.
Hinshaw also urged Albertans to refrain from calling 9-1-1 to report a business or facility that is not complying with public health orders. A process is currently being developed to respond to those concerns, and an update will be provided once a solution is reached, she said.
“If you have concerns about an establishment please do not call 9-1-1. I have been hearing reports of this happening, and we must leave this line open for true emergencies.”
With coronavirus on the rise, Health Canada is reminding individuals who attend events and large gatherings to monitor their health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. And if you’re not feeling well, they recommend staying home at this time. Also, due to unexpected cancellations, please check the event you plan to attend is still taking place. Keep up with COVID-19 news here.