Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported 138 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday – the largest day-to-day increase in Alberta during the pandemic so far.
The province now has a total of 1,870 new coronavirus cases and 914 recoveries.
All but 10 of Tuesday’s cases were confirmed in the Calgary area.
The Chief Medical Officer of Health also confirmed two other deaths, both in continuing care facilities, from the virus, bringing the total to 48. One death occurred at McKenzie Towne long-term care home in Calgary , bringing his total to 21, and the other at Shepherd’s Care Kensington in Edmonton.
There have been a total of 214 cases and 30 deaths in Alberta continuing care facilities.
Hinshaw, who has gradually introduced measures to protect seniors from the virus, said residents who come into contact with staff are subject to continuous testing and staff who work closely with residents must now wear protective equipment during their shift.
Alberta health departments have completed 2,868 tests in the past 24 hours.
“Although we are witnessing a steady increase in recovered cases in the province, we should also expect to see an increase in cases in the coming days due to the expansion of testing,” said Hinshaw.
‘COVID-19 IS AN UNPRECEDENTED PANDEMIC’
Modeling data released by the province last week predicts that the COVID-19 peak will arrive in mid-May, but it is unknown how long the pandemic and rules such as physical distance will affect Albertans.
Hinshaw says she understands and shares the frustration that many Albertans feel about this uncertainty.
“COVID-19 is an unprecedented pandemic and it has affected us all,” said Alberta’s top doctor. “We all mourn the normality we once knew.
“Believe me when I say that I wish it was in my power to give everyone the life they had three months ago. “
She recommends postponing major events such as weddings, or at least planning smaller gatherings instead, in case bans remain in place for the foreseeable future.
“It is important to remember that with the COVID-19 pandemic, we will all face it for a while,” said Hinshaw, but added, “It won’t last forever.”
NEW FUNDING FOR CAREGIVERS
The provincial government is providing $ 3 million to Caregivers Alberta, a non-profit organization that helps those who care for others at home or in the community.
With these funds, Caregivers Alberta plans to develop a public awareness campaign, expand the hours of service for Caregiver Advisor’s phone line, expand support programs, and develop a coaching program for caregivers.
“Caregivers are essential to the well-being and quality of life of more than one million Albertans,” said Minister of Health Tyler Shandro. “This is particularly true in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. “
“Without family and caring friends, our health care system would simply collapse – especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” added Sandra Sereda, executive director of Caregivers Alberta. “This funding will help support nearly one million caregivers in the province with one caregiver for targeted programs and services.” “