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Six deaths, 70 new cases of COVID-19 in Alberta

Last Updated May 7, 2020 at 6:26 am MDT

CALGARY (660NEWS) – In her daily COVID-19 update, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw confirmed 70 more cases of COVID-19 in the province, as well as six more deaths.

In the last 24 hours, 3,494 tests were conducted and with the additional 70 cases, a total of 5,936 cases have been identified in Alberta.

Of these cases, 3,552 have recovered.

Unfortunately, with six new deaths, Alberta’s total is now 112 due to the virus.

“Our thoughts go out to everyone who loved these individuals and all those grieving their loss today,” Hinshaw said.

A total of 632 cases are confirmed within continuing care facilities.

“We continue to do everything possible to protect the residents and staff at these facilities.”

Regarding the numerous outbreaks at meat processing plants within the province, Hinshaw said precautions are put into place to stop further spread of the virus.

At the Cargill meatpacking plant near High River, 798 of the 946 cases have recovered.

At the JBS plant in brooks, 434 of the 566 have recovered.

Lastly, at the Harmony plant, 12 of 38 confirmed cases have recovered.

“We are monitoring each of these outbreaks very closely, working with operators to contain the spread, and makings sure that all public health measures are being enforced and taken seriously.”

With the reopening of Cargill on May 4, Hinshaw said she has been hearing concerns with the opening being too soon.

However, she said Alberta Health Services and Occupational Health and Safety have been visiting the sites to ensure that outbreak precautions are being enforced.

Staff temperatures are being checked before entering facilities, PPE is being provided and worn at all times, enhanced cleaning is being done, breaks are staggered to prevent gatherings, additional sinks are being provided to allow for handwashing and distance between employees is being enforced.

“I have confidence in my public health colleagues who are doing this work,” she said.

Investigations into the initial outbreaks are now underway to determine why the outbreaks occurred in the first place.

Hinshaw said this can take a significant amount of time.

“Whenever an exposure occurs in any setting, new cases can be seen for up to two weeks after that exposure, even if all outbreak measures are implemented.”