Alberta breaks daily COVID-19 death record; 19 new cases, 14 recoveries in Fort McMurray

·2 min read

Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported 38 deaths from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, the highest number of deaths reported in Alberta in a single day.

The previous record for daily COVID-19 deaths in Alberta was reported on Dec. 18 with 30 deaths. The total number of Albertans to have died from COVID-19 since March is now 1,345 people.

“We must always remember that these figures are not just numbers, but lives,” Hinshaw said during her Tuesday update. “Every death involved somebody who loved and was loved by many.”

The number of new COVID-19 cases reported daily has also slowly dropped in recent weeks. However, Hinshaw warned the number of Albertans fighting the virus in hospitals is higher now than they were a month ago.

Hinshaw also said the province’s contact tracers can now reach out to high-priority cases within 24 hours. This includes health-care workers, long-term care workers, anyone involved in critical response and people who work with children.

Cases involving minors, staff and residents of long-term and continuing care centres, and other crowded workplaces are prioritized.

“With more contact tracers and fewer cases, we are reducing the number of cases with unknow exposures,” said Hinshaw.

Currently, 47 per cent of Alberta’s active cases have an unknown source. This is down from 80 per cent reported on Dec. 15.

Hinshaw’s briefing came hours after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Canada had signed deals for 80 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Any Canadian who wants one can be vaccinated by September.

Premier Jason Kenney says Alberta hopes to be able to administer 50,000 doses per week by the end of the month, and 200,000 weekly doses by late March. However, this will depend on how quickly vaccines are delivered to Alberta.

“As we get a clearer picture on the number of vaccines available, we will be able to make decisions on phase two in the coming weeks,” said Hinshaw on Tuesday.

The Fort McMurray Today wants to speak with people directly impacted by COVID-19. Do you have a child or teen who caught COVID-19? Are you a front-line worker? Have you been immunized? Did you get COVID-19 and want to tell us what it was like? Send us a message on Facebook or email vmcdermott@postmedia.com.

swilliscraft@postmedia.com

COVID-19 numbers for Alberta as of January 12:

Sarah Williscraft, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort McMurray Today