Alberta reports record 30 COVID-19 deaths; Fort McMurray reports 20 new cases, 24 recoveries

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Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported 30 deaths related to COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, the highest daily death toll Alberta has seen to date.

In her Thursday update, Hinshaw called the deaths “heartbreaking” and said it should remind Albertans of the severity of the virus.

“The death of a friend of family member is tragic at any time but I know that during the holidays, we can feel these losses and our loved ones’ absences more than ever,” said Hinshaw.

As of Thursday, 790 Albertans have died from COVID-19 complications and 138 people are currently in intensive care units.

“This year we can, and must, celebrate differently,” said Hinshaw. “Holiday gatherings with people outside of your household are not only against the restrictions that are in place, they are also the wrong thing to do right now.”

“These orders are not recommendations, they are legal restrictions. For them to affective, we need everyone to do their part.”

In Fort McMurray, École Dickinsfield School is shifting all classes online after five COVID-19 cases connected to the school were reported this week. There are 10 active cases connected to the school.

The school reported its first positive case of COVID-19 on Dec. 7 and an outbreak was declared on Dec. 9.

École Dickinsfield School will remain open for Thursday and Friday, although parents are encouraged to keep students home if possible. Online learning begins Monday.

Sarah Williscraft, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort McMurray Today