Infectious disease expert wants to see more restrictions as Alberta case counts rise

·1 min read

An Alberta infectious disease expert says now is the time to bring in tougher restrictions if Alberta wants to rein in surging COVID-19 numbers.

Active cases have more than doubled since the beginning of the month, from 1,596 on Oct. 1 to 3,651 as of Oct. 23. As of Friday, 112 people were in hospital compared with 64 on Oct 1.

"So I'm pretty seriously concerned about the direction things are going, because I would expect we're going to see more and more hospitalizations and more and more illness among vulnerable people in the coming weeks," said Dr. Lynora Saxinger, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Alberta.

She said any efforts by the population over the past few days in response to the increasing numbers won't be seen for several days.

Restrictions

Saxinger also thinks targeted restrictions, including mandatory limits on the size of gatherings, should be introduced in order to stop the spread.

"I think it's officially time to start plotting out some really deliberate and clear actions to make sure we can bring it back under control," she said.

"I think that taking targeted steps now could reduce the need to take broader steps later in terms of restrictions. But the window really is in the order of days-to-weeks, but more like days."

Dr. Deena Hinshaw will provide an update on the weekend numbers at 3:30 MT this afternoon.