#AlbertaHealth; #Covid19Surge, #HealthRegionsOfAlberta
Alberta, Jul 23 (Canadian-Media): Alberta has recorded the most new cases of COVID-19, per capita, of all provinces, from July 7 to 21, according to federally compiled data, media reports said.
COVID-19 Pandemic. Image credit: Twitter handle
Alberta also recorded the highest percentage of positive tests over that time, and its hospitalization rate is on the rise with second only to Quebec.
For the first time during the pandemic, large numbers of new cases have been seen in all five of Alberta's broad health zones at the same time, with the largest surge in the Calgary zone, where physicians have been urging for more government action to limit the spread.
60 active cases back on March 15 rose to 694 active cases on April 7, and on July 21 the number rose to 1,193 active cases.
This situation led the Calgary city council to propose a bylaw for mandatory masks on Calgary Transit and requiring face coverings indoors, and in public places as of Aug. 1.
Calgary's mask bylaw, which passed by a 12-3 vote, was quickly applauded by physicians and business leaders but there were concerns why this bylaw did to extend to schools.
Edmonton's council also passed a similar bylaw at an emergency advisory committee meeting on Thursday.
At a press conference in Edmonton July 21, Alberta's Premier Jason Kenney said "we should all be very concerned about the recent rise in active COVID-19 cases." He chided Albertans who had been ignoring public health orders to "knock it off," and added: "We're not expecting perfection ... let's just do our best."
On the other hand with 1,193 active cases on July 21, the province's announcement of the return to classes received mixed responses from school boards and teachers associations.
"We anticipate that there will be some cases in schools," Education Minister Adriana LaGrange said. "But again, we have a very strong plan in place, so that when there is a case, we will be able to identify it quickly. We will be able to contain it," reported by CBC.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw at July 21 news conference said some degree of spread among kids and teachers was preferable to the schools closure, because "extended school closures negatively impact children's overall long-term mental, emotional and physical health."