Stronger action may be needed to bring Edmonton’s COVID-19 numbers under control: Iveson

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EDMONTON – The mayor of Edmonton will advocate for stricter enforcement of COVID-19 prevention measures if the city does not control its rising numbers. Don Iveson told media on Wednesday he was concerned about what appears to be a false sense of security among townspeople.

He suggested that overconfidence had partially contributed to an increase in active cases. Currently, 571 Edmontonians are living with the disease, the second highest number to date.

“It’s really important for us to redouble our efforts and remember what got us through the early part of this pandemic so successfully, because those same tactics – plus the masks – will help keep our economy open. and will help save lives, ”he said.

“We need to reconnect with that diligence and gently remind, and if necessary, remind each other more firmly with stricter application… to regain control of our epidemic here.”

Iveson added that he “would fully support” stronger action “if the need arises – and I think we see the need arose.”

At the start of the pandemic in Alberta, outbreaks in cities further south contributed to the majority of the province’s cases.

But Alberta’s capital had the third highest number of active cases among municipalities in mid-May and the second at the end of the month.

Since then, the cities of Edmonton and Calgary have flip-flopped to take first place, as numbers have fallen in Calgary and increased in Edmonton.

Edmonton passed Calgary on August 7, with around 200 more active cases as of Thursday.

Wednesday’s increase of 53 total cases in Edmonton was the second-highest daily increase the city has seen – in addition to an overall increase of 52 cases and 85 cases on August 14 and 12, respectively.

When the city was placed on the provincial watchlist earlier in the week – which happens when a municipality’s case count exceeds a rate of 50 per 100,000 and local and health authorities start to coordinate – Alberta’s top doctor said many cases were linked to private, social gatherings.

“This can be a specific red flag from Edmonton in regards to the realization that in these pockets of transmission, these social gatherings, it is essential that each of us reflect on our activities,” said Dr. Deena. Hinshaw, Chief Medical Officer of Health. commented.

Iveson said stricter enforcement may not be necessary if townspeople were to follow public health measures again.

“So far, no additional measures have been put in place because the advice that exists – hand washing, distance and masks – should be sufficient…

“If people obey all of these rules, we should be able to overturn them. So I hope it’s a wake-up call.

Although Edmonton’s number of active cases has increased, the number of local deaths has remained stable at 54 over the past week, and outbreaks at two health care centers have slowed.

According to the latest data available, Alberta has 1,107 active cases and Calgary 255.

In total, the province has reported 12,500 cases of COVID-19. Over 11,100 of those people have recovered. However, 227 Albertans died from the disease.

Hinshaw was scheduled to update at 3:30 pm Thursday. Comments from the Chief Medical Officer of Health are being broadcast live on CTVNewsEdmonton.ca.

With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Matthew Black

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