EDMONTON — Five more Albertans have died as a result of COVID-19, Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced Monday.
Alberta has now had eight deaths due to the novel coronavirus.
The victims include a woman in her 70s at Calgary’s McKenzie Towne Long Term Care Home, a man in his 80s at Edmonton’s Rosedale on the Park seniors home, a woman in her 50s in the Calgary zone, a man in his 80s in the Edmonton zone and a man in his 30s in the North zone.
“I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of these individuals,” Hinshaw said. “This news is heartbreaking for all of us.”
“This has been one of the hardest days yet.”
Hinshaw also announced 29 more cases of COVID-19, increasing Alberta’s total to 690, but 94 patients have recovered.
Sixty-five cases are believed to have been spread in the community, a “concerning” number for Hinshaw.
After daily totals as high as in the 70s last week, Alberta has now seen a steep decline in confirmed cases. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean fewer people have the virus. Hinshaw explained numbers have come down because the province has stopped testing returning travellers and decreased lab tests in recent days “given some challenges with lab testing supplies.”
As of Monday, Alberta has conducted 46,057 tests.
MORE CASES AT SENIORS HOMES
In addition to another death at the McKenzie Towne Long Term Care Home, 36 residents and five staff are confirmed or probable to have COVID-19.
In Edmonton, there are two new cases at the Shepherd’s Care Kensington seniors home, bringing the residence’s total to six.
“This is a concerning number,” Hinshaw said. She added Alberta will double its efforts to protect those most vulnerable to the deadly virus.
‘STAYING INSIDE CAN SAVE LIVES’
Hinshaw had previously said those self-isolating were allowed to go for walks, as long as they maintained a physical distance of at least two metres, but after a call with her Canadian counterparts, the doctors decided on a uniform recommendation.
If you recently returned to Canada or were in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, you must stay home for two weeks and not leave your property, Hinshaw said.
“Under no circumstances should you leave your property during the 14 days of self-isolation,” she said.
Hinshaw said those in mandatory self-isolation can only go to their deck, yard or balcony. If you live in a building, you must stay in your suite and not use the elevators or stairwell, she added.
“This means that if you’re under mandatory self-isolation, you can no longer go for walks in your neighbourhood or at the park until your self-isolation period ends.
“I know this is incredibly difficult, staying indoors or close to home for 14 days is a very long time, but this is what we must do to protect each other.”
Those who break self-isolation rules could face fines.
As of 4:45 p.m., there were 7,448 cases of COVID-19 and 89 deaths in Canada.