While technical issues in the COVID-19 reporting system reportedly prevented a detailed update Thursday, Alberta’s top doctor says there have been roughly 800 new cases in the past 24 hours.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw says this is “extremely concerning” and is worried that Alberta’s hospitals may soon not be able to keep up with incoming cases.
“The measures that we introduced 10 days ago, which may have helped cases plateau over the last few days, are not having enough of an effect,” she says. “It means that in the next seven to 10 days from now, our hospital numbers will rise further, which means care for Albertans with other issues besides COVID-19 will be impacted.”
Hinshaw adds one significant concern she has is with the high proportion of active cases who have gone to work or social events while symptomatic. She says new measures will have to be considered if the numbers don’t go down in the next few days.
There are also temporary changes coming to close contact notification in Alberta. Starting Friday, November 6th, only close contacts of COVID-19 cases in three priority groups, being health care workers, minors, and individuals who live or work within congregate or communal facilities will be contacted by Alberta Health Services.
Hinshaw says there has been a sustained record number of new daily cases in the province, meaning an unprecedented number of close contacts.
“As cases have risen rapidly, we are experiencing challenges in our contact tracing teams. AHS does not currently have the capacity to call every contact of every case in a timely way. As an interim measure until more contact tracers can be hired and trained, AHS will be focusing their contact tracing on high priority settings only,” she says.
Albertans outside of the three priority groups will be asked to notify their own close contacts.
As of November 3rd, the City of Grande Prairie sits at 96 active cases of COVID-19, 211 recoveries and two fatalities. The County of Grande Prairie was reported to have a total of 20 active cases in the region.