Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, announced the province surpasses one million COVID-19 tests Friday. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)

Hinshaw urges Albertans to stay vigilant on Labour Day weekend

Province surpasses 1 million completed COVID-19 tests

The province reported 164 new cases of COVID-19 Friday.

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health said that with another daily rise of more than 100 cases, Albertans need to be vigilant when going to gatherings on the Labour Day weekend.

“The number of cases being reported (Friday) is a clear reminder that we cannot afford to be reckless. COVID-19 does not take holidays,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw said, telling Albertans to stay within their cohort and keep gatherings small if they are planning them.

“We have seen weekend barbecues and other gatherings spark outbreaks in the past. I want to encourage all Albertans to have fun, while making safety a priority this weekend.

“Relax, enjoy yourself, but remain vigilant. There are many ways to have fun while doing it safely.”

Hinshaw reported 1,433 active cases of COVID-19 in the province Friday, up from 1,413 active cases Thursday.

There are 12,799 recovered cases in the province, while 47 people are in hospital and nine are in the ICU. There were no additional deaths Friday.

The central zone now has 40 active cases, up from 37 on Thursday. In the zone, there are 564 recovered cases and just one person remains in hospital.

Red Deer added one additional case and is up to 14 active cases.

Lacombe County sits at five active cases and Sylvan Lake has four active cases. The County of Wetaskiwin has three active cases and the City of Wetaskiwin has one active case.

Camrose County, Flagstaff County, Olds and Red Deer County all have one active case each.

In Friday’s update, Hinshaw also announced the province surpassed one million COVID-19 tests. It has completed 1,005,001 since the start of the pandemic.

“The milestone is a testament to the innovation of our health lab, to the tireless efforts of our staff and partners … it is a good opportunity to recognize the work that has gone into that number and celebrate all that work and those contributions,” she said.

Over the past 24 hours, Alberta completed more than 10,000 tests. Still, some people are reporting five or six day waittimes for a test, something Hinshaw said they are working to correct.

“The timelines are longer than we would like them to be,” she said.

“We have had a backlog in the last couple of weeks.”

Edmonton and Calgary remain the hardest hit zones in the province. The Calgary zone has 638 active cases and the Edmonton zone has 544 active cases.

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