Alberta hits one-million COVID-19 test milestone ahead of Labour Day

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw provided an update, from Edmonton on Tuesday, May 19, 2020, on COVID-19 and the ongoing work to protect public health. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)

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“We are heading into the last long weekend of summer and I know many people are excited to enjoy it,” she said.

“However, the number of cases being reported today is a clear reminder that we cannot afford to be reckless. COVID-19 does not take holidays and we have seen weekend barbecues and other gatherings spark outbreaks in the past.”

Hinshaw encouraged Albertans to bring a mask and hand sanitizer if they hit the road, and to keep a proper distance from those outside of their household. She added Albertans shouldn’t share anything they’ve put in their mouths, including “smokes, tokes or vapes.”

The 164 new cases are the third-most reported in one day in Alberta since April. The cases came from more than 10,700 tests, a 1.5 per cent positive rate.

They bring the number of active infections in Alberta to 1,433, an increase from Thursday. Of those active cases, Hinshaw said the largest source of exposure was from close contacts, ahead of outbreaks and unknown exposure. The Alberta Health Services Calgary zone remains home to most of the active cases, with 638.

Alberta’s death toll from COVID-19 sits at 242 after no new deaths were reported Friday. There are 47 Albertans in hospital with the virus, including nine in intensive-care units.

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