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More health measures may be needed: Hinshaw

"My team is monitoring closely and if we do not see growth slowing soon, further measures may be required."
dr deena hinshaw
Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Deena Hinshaw. CHRIS SCHWARZ/Government of Alberta

As Alberta continues to see COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations grow, the province's top doctor says more health measures may be required to curb the spread of the virus.

Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Tuesday hospitalization are continuing to rise across the province and cases are rising sharply.

"My team is monitoring closely and if we do not see growth slowing soon, further measures may be required,” Hinshaw said.

Alberta’s top doctor said the province can’t wait too long to make restrictions.

“We cannot wait three weeks and watch – we need to make sure we’re watching within the coming week to 10 days about what those cases look like and consider, if our trajectory continues on a steep upward climb, whether those additional measure would be needed,” Hinshaw said.

Hinshaw reiterated that Albertans need to continue to limit in-person interactions every single day, and compared rising cases to a growing flood.

"Vaccines are building a barrier against this flood to protect our communities from becoming overwhelmed, but until everyone has had a chance to receive (the) vaccine, we cannot dismantle the existing barrier or our collective actions to prevent spread, and this includes the same protective actions in those who are immunized,” Hinshaw said.

Alberta’s top doctor said all Albertans should get vaccinated as soon as they can, and noted the vaccine works against variants.

"The evidence available indicates that all three vaccines that we currently have – Moderna, Pfizer and Covishield/AstraZeneca – effectively stop the variant that's most dominant in Alberta, the B117."

Across Alberta, another 1,081 new cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed Tuesday after 12,000 tests were run for a positivity rate of 8.9 per cent.

Another 705 variants of concern were found and now variants of concern make up 52 per cent of active cases.

There are active alerts or outbreaks in 453 schools, or 19 per cent of schools in the province. Since Jan. 11, provincial schools have had 2,653 cases of COVID-19

There are currently 402 people in the hospital with COVID-19 and 88 of them are in intensive care. Another three deaths were reported to Alberta Health on Tuesday, bringing the total deaths from COVID-19 since the pandemic began up to 2,021.

So far, 970,272 Vaccine doses have been given out as of as of April 12.

Jennifer Henderson

About the Author: Jennifer Henderson

Jennifer Henderson is the editor of the St. Albert Gazette
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