1st wave or 2nd wave? Where is COVID-19 in Alberta

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The number of cases has been steadily high in Alberta over the past few weeks, and experts say the province appears to be in a period of transition between waves of the new coronavirus.

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Dr. Lynora Saxinger, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Alberta, says the province has seen a clear first wave and there has been, overall, an increase in the number of daily cases.

“I think it’s a difficult time. I feel like this could be the start of a second wave, but I don’t think we’re officially there yet, ”she said.

Saxinger said it was fair to say the province was in a period of transition.

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“We don’t really know what will happen in the fall. There is certainly the possibility, in some cases around the world, of seeing a second wave that appears to surpass the first outbreak they experienced.

“In other places, it might be more of a grumpy, top-down pattern depending on how the population is responding and trying to control the infection,” she said.








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Paul Veugelers, professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta, points to the signs of a second wave in Europe, such as Spain and the United Kingdom and the United States.

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He said the number of cases in the province was on a higher plateau, which is concerning.

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“That’s what we don’t know at the moment: are we on a full rebound path or are we seeing a small rise?” he said.

“I’m not too worried about Alberta right now. I believe Ontario and Quebec have more reason to be concerned.

The numbers are rebounding more in these provinces than here.










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Saxinger said many of the new cases were among younger, healthier Albertans, but if the trend continues there could be unintended consequences.

“In other places, after a few weeks of this model, we sometimes see a stronger impact on the more vulnerable populations and in this case, we start to see the impact on our health system,” she said. declared.

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Dr. Stephanie Smith, director of infection prevention and control at the University of Alberta Hospital, said a second wave will be very different from the first.

“What we are seeing is a greater proportion of patients identified in the community as positive, not necessarily requiring hospitalization, but that could certainly change if we reach a critical level of community transmission, as it will eventually reverberate. on people who are higher. risk of more serious illness, ”she said.

There are multiple outbreaks in acute care facilities across the province, including the QE2 Hospital in Grande Prairie, the Royal Alex in Edmonton and the Foothills Medical Center in Calgary.










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“What is stretching our hospitals right now is more staffing and exhibits, and the fact that all of these employees don’t work that long,” Smith said.

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Several schools are on the province’s watchlist and dozens more on the outbreak list. Hundreds of students across the province are in isolation after positive cases were identified in their classes.

While other provinces, such as Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec, have reintroduced restrictions, no additional measures are planned in Alberta.

“To date, we haven’t seen a single model that lends itself to additional restrictions,” Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr Deena Hinshaw said on Monday.

The province has insisted on staying home when sick, wearing masks if you can’t get away and limiting social circles this fall. He also stressed that what happens next with the virus in the province is in the hands of Albertans.

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