Alberta reports 1,240 new COVID-19 cases, nine more deaths

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Alberta reports 1,240 new COVID-19 cases, nine more deaths

Alberta reported 1,240 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday and nine more deaths.

The case numbers were compiled up until midnight on Sunday.

A total of 860 people have now died from the illness since the pandemic began.

The R-value in Alberta dropped below over one over the last seven days, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province's chief medical officer of health, said Monday at a news conference.

The R-value from Dec. 14 to Dec. 20 was:

  • Provincewide: 0.92 (0.90-0.93) (confidence interval).

  • Edmonton Zone: 0.89 (0.86-0.91) (confidence interval).

  • Calgary Zone: 0.97 (0.97-1.00) (confidence interval).

  • Rest of Alberta: 0.90 (0.85-0.95) (confidence interval).

The provincial R-value from Dec. 7 to Dec. 13 was:

  • Provincewide: 0.98.

  • Edmonton Zone: 1.00.

  • Calgary Zone: 0.92.

  • Rest of Alberta: 1.01.

The R-value is essentially the number of people infected by each infected person. It's known as the reproduction number, R-number, or simply as "R."

A value of one means with each person with the illness only infects one other person.

"After this weekend, we have now diagnosed more than 91,000 cases of COVID-19 in our province," Hinshaw said. "The positive signs that I mentioned on Friday have continued through the weekend but our situation is still serious. Our new case numbers are still extremely high and our health-care system remains under severe strain."

Headed into the holiday, she asked the public to continue to follow health restrictions with the goal of bringing down hospitalization and ICU numbers.

"We have lived with this virus for 10 months," she said. "We know how it spreads and we know it is critical that we all reduce the spread as quickly as possible.

"This week is another test for our province. This is usually a time for many to relax and celebrate, but we must not relax our guard or gather with friends and family outside our households. We know that celebrations can quickly turn to outbreaks if we fail to take the right precautions."

Active cases of the illness in Alberta have been slowly declining over the past week.

But during that time period hospitalizations have continued to climb.

The active case total peaked on Dec. 13, the day after a raft of new provincial restrictions went into effect.

That day there were 21,138 active cases across the province. The daily tally has since slowly but steadily declined.

  • Dec. 14, 20,665 cases.

  • Dec. 15, 20,190 cases.

  • Dec. 16, 19,893 cases.

  • Dec. 17, 19,655 cases.

  • Dec. 18, 19,305 cases.

  • Dec. 19, 19,201 cases.

  • Dec. 20, 19,165 cases.

Yet during that same week, the number of patients being treated in Alberta hospitals continued to increase.

Those numbers were:

  • Dec. 13, a total of 684 people in hospital, including 135 in ICU beds.

  • Dec. 14, a total of 712 people in hospital, including 132 in ICU beds.

  • Dec. 15, a total of 731 people in hospital, including 139 in ICU beds.

  • Dec. 16, a total of 744 people in hospital, including 139 in ICU beds.

  • Dec. 17, a total of 757 people in hospital, including 143 in ICU beds.

  • Dec. 18, a total of 777 people in hospital, including 153 in ICU beds.

  • Dec. 19, a total of 760 people in hospital, including 149 in ICU beds.

  • Dec. 20, a total of 795 people in hospital, including 151 in ICU beds.

Hinshaw provided her latest pandemic update on Monday at a news conference set to begin at 3:30 p.m.

On Monday, the Alberta government said that anyone who has been in the United Kingdom in the past 14 days should get tested for COVID-19, whether they're symptomatic or not.

The announcement came after Ottawa joined several European nations by halting flights from the U.K. on Sunday in an effort to prevent a new, potentially more contagious strain of the coronavirus from spreading to this country.

The province also said travellers from the UK who are participating in Alberta's border pilot rapid-test program must immediately quarantine, whether they've had a negative test or not.

The nine deaths reported by the province on Monday were:

  • Nov. 26. A woman in her 90s linked to the outbreak at Staywell Manor in Calgary.

  • Dec. 17. A man in his 80s linked to the outbreak at CapitalCare Dickinsfield in Edmonton.

  • Dec. 17. A man in his 80s linked to the outbreak at Shepherd's Care Kensington Village in Edmonton.

  • Dec. 18. A man in his 90s linked to the outbreak at Lifestyle Options Whitemud in Edmonton.

  • Dec. 19. A woman in her 80s linked to the outbreak at Hardisty Care Centre in Edmonton.

  • Dec. 19. A man in his 70s linked to the outbreak at Kiwanis Place Lodge in Edmonton.

  • Dec. 20. A woman in her 90s linked to the outbreak at Venta Care Centre in Edmonton.

  • Dec. 20. A man in his 90s linked to the outbreak at Greater Edmonton Foundation Seniors Housing Beverly Place in Edmonton.

  • Dec. 20. A man in his 80s linked to the outbreak at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton.