Next Weeks Critical to Prevent Third Wave of COVID-19, Says Hinshaw

Coronavirus: ce qui se passe au Canada et dans le monde mardi

The next few weeks are critical to preventing a third wave of COVID-19 cases in Alberta, Dr Deena Hinshaw said Thursday.
“The coming weeks will really tell us that story, and we are certainly seeing some of the early worrying trends,” said Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.

“A few weeks ago, we saw week-to-week increases in our new cases, followed by stabilization. And so right now, again, we’re in a very, very critical time and our collective actions will determine what we see in the weeks to come. ”

Hinshaw has reported an explosion of cases in Lethbridge over the past three weeks.

Three weeks ago, on February 25, Lethbridge had 196 active cases, Hinshaw said. As of Wednesday, the community reached 469 active cases.

“Simply put, cases are increasing sharply and we need to curb the current rate of infection,” she said.

“Although there is no single cause for the peak, local health officials have let me know that many of these cases are linked to family reunions and visits between households, people with mild symptoms that don’t stay home or are not tested right away, or faith gatherings where masking and distancing does not occur.

“The increase in the number of cases is a reminder that the actions of a small number of people can have a huge impact,” she said.

Hinshaw said she frequently hears the argument that since most people who catch COVID-19 recover, there shouldn’t be as much concern about its spread.

“The reality is that it is precisely the fact that most people have mild symptoms that make COVID-19 so dangerous for our communities,” she said, noting that people who do not have symptoms pass it on to their friends and family, who then pass it on. on others.

“If COVID-19 made most of the people who caught it extremely sick, it would make it much less likely to spread,” she said.

“As it actually behaves, it can spread like wildfire, and until we have enough vaccines to provide protection to Albertans most vulnerable, widespread transmission would always mean increased hospitalizations, admissions in intensive care and even death.

“I am not asking Albertans to fear COVID-19. I ask all of us to respect it.

Latest case numbers

Alberta reported 505 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the number of active cases in the province to 5,084.

Of the new cases, 91 involved highly infectious variant strains of the virus, the highest number on record, now accounting for 12 percent of all active COVID-19 cases in Alberta.

“I am concerned about this trend,” Hinshaw said. “We need to continue to monitor them and use this information to help all of us make decisions about what we do every day. ”

To date, 1,169 cases involving variants of concern have been identified. Of these, 575 people have recovered and 14 have died.

There are 264 people hospitalized with the disease and 43 in intensive care.

Another person died, a man in his sixties in the southern area.

Earlier this week, Hinshaw described Alberta’s response to COVID-19 as a race between variant strains and vaccinations.

Vaccines can’t prevent wave 3

To date, approximately 418,500 doses of vaccine have been administered in the province.

Hinshaw said that despite large-scale efforts to distribute vaccines, individual behavior will continue to define the future of the pandemic.

“Many European countries are experiencing a third wave of cases, hospitalization pressures and deaths, although they are somewhat ahead of us with vaccine coverage in their populations,” she said.

“I ask all of us not to waste the sacrifices that have been made over the past year by ignoring the public health measures in place that are still badly needed.

“It is essential that residents, not only of Lethbridge, but across Alberta, do not participate in any social gatherings indoors and abide by the public health rules in place.

“It’s the everyday choices that matter to all of us, and make no mistake, each of us matters. ”


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