“We have some measures in place and are working on more to reduce that wait time and speed up other elements of the testing process in the coming weeks,” Hinshaw said.
With three weeks from the end of August, people must remain vigilant to protect themselves and others, she said.
“The best advice for all of us is always to respect physical distance, to wear a mask if we cannot wash and disinfect our hands often, to maintain social interaction within our cohorts, to isolate ourselves if we are feel sick and get tested, ”she said.
“We’re going to be living with this virus for a while, so we have to see it as our new normal. Remember that when we take steps to protect ourselves, we are also protecting each other. ”
With the new cases reported over the weekend, there are now 1,090 active cases in Alberta. At the end of the day as of Sunday, 66 patients were being treated for the disease in hospitals in Alberta, including 14 people in intensive care beds.
There have been 213 deaths associated with the disease. Two of the most recent deaths were at the Good Samaritan Southgate Care Center in Edmonton, site of the deadliest outbreak in Alberta. There have now been 27 deaths and 113 cases of COVID-19 at the South Side facility since mid-June.
In the past three days, the number of cases in the Edmonton area has exceeded those seen in the Calgary area. The regional distribution of active cases was:
- Edmonton area: 388 cases
- Calgary area: 365 cases
- Central zone: 157 cases
- North zone: 113 cases
- South zone: 61 cases
- Unknown: three cases
The daily number of cases has varied a lot in recent days. After several consecutive double-digit days, where new cases ranged from 56 to 97, the province reported 134 on Thursday, 108 on Friday and 101 on Saturday.
“There is a certain irony in the fact that my cautious optimism last week was followed by three days with a number of new cases above 100,” Hinshaw said. “It’s a reminder that COVID-19 continues to be with us, and we cannot turn our backs on this virus. ”
As of Friday, provincial labs had tested more than 613,000 people, or about one in seven Albertans.
Alberta Health Services has announced plans to look to the private sector to help double screening capacity, with daily testing expected to exceed 20,000 by September, when students return to school.