Albertans Should Prepare For A ‘Much Different’ Holiday Season As COVID-19 Cases Rise: Hinshaw

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As the province added 1,307 more COVID-19 cases and 10 more deaths, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said on Tuesday Albertans should start preparing for a “much different” holiday season .
“I know a lot of people across the province are starting to plan for the holidays,” Hinshaw said. “For many of us this coming season is all about socializing and spending time together.

“It’s been a long, tough year… and I know how important this vacation is to Albertans.

“But in a year that is anything but typical, the way we celebrate won’t be either. “

Hinshaw warned Albertans should plan for online celebrations and small outdoor gatherings, although the provincial government will not announce actual measures for the last week of December until later this month.

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She added that there was an increase in the number of cases after other holidays like Thanksgiving.

“If you’re planning your vacation, it’s best to assume that you’ll limit contact with anyone outside your household as much as possible and that any larger meeting will likely need to be virtual,” Hinshaw said.

“I encourage Albertans to start preparing for a much different holiday season and start thinking about creative ways to celebrate safely.

There are now 16,628 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, the majority of which are in the two largest metropolitan areas in Alberta. The Edmonton area currently has 7,552 active cases, or 45% of the total. The Calgary area had 6,162 active cases on Tuesday, or 37% of the total.

The provincial positivity rate stands at 8.4%, Hinshaw said.

Currently, 479 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 in Alberta, including 97 in intensive care.

Hinshaw said the province was watching closely to see if the new measures announced last week will help “stem the growth” of the R-value of the virus.

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The R-value explains how many people a positive case will infect. For example, if the R value is one, then one person will infect another person, which will infect another person.

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“We need to bring that number down to below 1 in order to start reducing the number of new cases,” Hinshaw said.

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Coronavirus: Alberta’s R-value will be released publicly starting Monday

Although officials have said Alberta’s R-value will be released publicly from November 30, it has yet to be released. Hinshaw did not have the most recent figure to release when asked at Tuesday’s press conference, but said it was “at least” a month ago that the province had a R value of one.

“We continue to see growth,” she said. “And we didn’t expect to see the impact of the measures announced last week (make a difference) until later this week, at the earliest.

“This is one of the most important measures right now. Because it helps us understand if our actions are reducing the curve enough to actually have this reduction in the number of cases. Because it is the only way we can take the pressure off the health care system.

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A total of 551 people in Alberta have now died from the coronavirus.

The 10 Albertans whose pandemic-related deaths Alberta Health announced on Tuesday were all seniors.

The deaths include three men in the Edmonton area connected to the Edmonton Chinatown Care Center: two men in their 90s and a man in his 80s. The man in his 80s died on November 27 and had pre-existing conditions. Of the two men in their 90s, one died on November 24 and the other died on November 29. The man who died on Nov. 24 had pre-existing conditions, according to Alberta Health.

Also in the Edmonton area, a man in his 90s linked to the outbreak at St. Thomas Health Center died on November 25. He had no pre-existing condition. A man in his 90s linked to the outbreak at Capital Care Lynnwood care center died on November 26. He had pre-existing conditions, according to Alberta Health. A woman in her 60s with comorbidities related to the Gray Nuns community hospital died on November 29.

An 80-year-old Edmonton-area woman with co-morbidities died on November 30. Alberta Health said it was not linked to a health center or a hospital outbreak.

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Alberta Identifies ‘Unconventional Intensive Care Spaces’ As COVID-19 Cases, Hospitalizations Rise

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In the Calgary area, two people – a man and a woman both in their 60s – have died as a result of the Clifton Manor outbreak. The man died on November 29 and the woman died on November 30.

A woman in her 60s in the South Zone linked to the Kainai Continuing Care Center died on November 26.

Alberta is still subject to additional restrictions announced last week. Some of these restrictions include the lack of in-person socialization at home with those who don’t live there, high school students have been reoriented to home learning starting Monday, and Albertans cannot eat with their households. than in restaurants, while most retail stores in improved areas like Calgary and Edmonton have a capacity limited to 25 percent.

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