Alberta’s Dr. Hinshaw worries folks are ‘tuning’ out Covid-19 message

    Edmonton – Alberta PHO Dr. Deena Hinshaw says she’s worried people are tuning out Covid-19 safety messages.

    Her comments come as gatherings spark numerous new cases among young people.

    “This pandemic has been a long haul, and I worry that Albertans may be starting to tune the messages out,” she said.

    “It can seem like old news, and many are tired of hearing the information,” Hinshaw added as new cases jumped by 86.

    “As the Premier and I both mentioned yesterday, we are concerned about the recent rise in cases we are seeing.

    “Also of concern is the younger age of people infected with the virus. Over the past two weeks, 780 new cases have been identified in the province, with 57 per cent of these cases being under the age of 40.”

    “Of these, 30 per cent have not yet been linked to any known source,” she added.

    “This is a reminder that COVID-19 can spread quickly, and cases can rise rapidly if we don’t all do our part.”

    • 86 additional cases bring the number of total active cases to 701.

    • Cases have been identified in all zones across the province:

    ◦ Calgary zone: 295 active cases and 5,250 recovered

    ◦ South zone: 104 active cases and 1,315 recovered

    ◦ Edmonton zone: 198 active cases and 1,055 recovered

    ◦ North zone: 50 active cases and 321 recovered

    ◦ Central zone: 48 active cases and 92 recovered

    ◦ Six active cases and 15 recovered cases in zones to be confirmed

    • So far, labs have performed 545,902 tests on 470,871 Albertans, with 5,801 tests completed in the last 24 hours.

    • There are two new deaths to report.

    ◦ Total number of deaths is 163: 112 in the Calgary zone; 21 in the Edmonton zone; 17 in the North zone; 12 in the South zone; and one in the Central zone.

    • There are 22 active cases and 754 recovered cases at continuing care facilities; 119 facility residents have died

    Currently, 55 people are in hospital, of which 13 are in intensive care.

    “Today, we have also added Wheatland County to the province’s watch list. Alberta now has four regions coded in blue, for Watch status.”

    “I am sad to have to report an additional two new deaths, including one linked to the outbreak at the Misericordia hospital.”

    “I know that many are concerned about the outbreak at the Misericordia (Hospital).

    “This outbreak currently has a total of 49 cases, with 17 active patient cases in hospital, and 17 staff cases which are currently active. Sadly, there have now been six deaths associated with this outbreak.

    “Much of the public advice that we have been providing, including washing your hands and physical distancing, has been repeated for months now.

    “The best way to defeat the virus has not changed. Stay two metres apart when you can, and wear a mask when you can’t. Wash or sanitize your hands. Stay home if you are sick and get tested.”

    “We need to avoid overcrowding in public spaces, and social gatherings.

    “That’s how we keep our families and communities safe – by following the guidance, not by discriminating against fellow Albertans who also are doing their best to follow public health measures.

    “It is natural to feel a bit of COVID-19 fatigue.

    “If anyone is tired of following the public health guidance, or feels that they are not at risk, please remember that your actions are protecting more than yourself.”

    Anyone can become ill from this virus, but older Albertans and those with heart disease, diabetes or other underlying medical conditions are the highest risk of experiencing severe health outcomes, she said.

    “To date, 148 of the 161 deaths reported in Alberta were individuals over the age of 70. Almost 90 per cent of those who died from COVID-19 had two or more underlying conditions.

    “Every one of us acts as a shield that protects our friends, families and neighbours from this virus.

    “By taking simple, everyday actions, we can help limit the spread, particularly to those most at risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19.

    “Every time we step out the door, we should all ask ourselves: ‘Who am I protecting today?’”