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One additional death, 98 new cases of COVID-19

Last Updated Apr 7, 2020 at 6:22 am MST

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – One more Albertan has died of COVID-19 virus and 98 additional cases have been found within the province.

This brings the provincial total to 1,348.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Monday the latest death was a woman in her 80s who lived in the McKenzie Towne Long Term Care Home.

Of the 1,348 confirmed cases, 361 people have recovered.

Hinshaw said they suspect as many as 204 cases are a result of community transmission, an increase of 52 from yesterday.

She said that Alberta’s labs are working hard and that the province is only second to Australia in its testing rate.

“It is extremely important that in addition to completing as many tests as we can, we are also being purposeful in our testing.”

Moving forward, Hinshaw said they plan to change their testing groups as well in conjunction with their three main goals of testing.

Testing should allow all those at greatest risk to be diagnosed, track the spread of the virus with regards to community transmission, and be able to accurately depict the actions taken to limit transmission.

Now, those experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 while in hospital will be tested, along with those working in group homes and shelters, first responders, correctional centre staff and those involved with COVID-19 enforcement, such as the police.

Also, anyone over 65 experiencing symptoms such as a fever or a cough will be tested.

“Knowing that older Albertans are at increased risk for complications if they are infected with COVID-19, we are expanding testing access to enable early detection of infection in this group of people,” said Hinshaw.

This doesn’t mean that anyone who feels sick needs to be tested, however.

Those who are feeling sick are still encouraged to stay home for 14 days and to take the AHS online assessment.

Hinshaw said that it is still possible for those who are feeling well to spread the virus.

She said evidence has indicated that people spreading the virus one or two days before the symptoms show themselves is increasingly common.

Hinshaw added that face masks can be incorporated into physical distancing and hygiene practices.

Dr. Theresa Tam also confirmed earlier Monday that there is increasing evidence that people with the virus can infect others unknowingly.

READ MORE: Non-medical masks can keep people with COVID-19 from spreading it, Tam says

Hinshaw added that continuing to follow AHS guidelines is imperative to limiting the spread of COVID-19.

“These practices will become even more critical in the following weeks. As we see fewer travel-related cases, this is the time when community cases may start to rise,” said Hinshaw.

“We must do everything we can to prevent the spread of this virus from person to person in the community.”