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Four more COVID-19 deaths in Alberta, cases rise by 58

Last Updated May 15, 2020 at 4:56 pm MDT

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw providing daily COVID-19 update on May 15, 2020. (Photo taken from CityNews livestream)

EDMONTON (660 NEWS) – Four additional people have died in Alberta, with 58 new COVID-19 cases identified as well.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw confirmed that the deaths were all in continuing care facilities in the Calgary area during Friday’s provincial update.

This brings the total number of deaths in the province to 125.

“Let us remember that this virus poses a risk, particularly to the elderly and people with chronic medical conditions.”

Hinshaw said there are now 1,073 active cases across the province, but also 5,317 people have recovered from the virus as of Friday.

62 people are currently in hospital, with 9 in the ICU.

Speaking on asymptomatic testing, Hinshaw said as of May 11, 50 people tested positive for the virus.

Those people did not show any symptoms.

“It is important to know first of all that I do not have information on how many of these are asymptomatic close contacts of confirmed cases and how many have no known exposure.”

“We do not have the full investigation on all of these cases,” remarked Hinshaw.

She says more information will be provided next week on the asymptomatic testing program happening in Calgary.

WATCH: Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw provides daily COVID-19 update

Following phase one of Alberta’s relaunch strategy, Hinshaw says each business reopening is advised to fill out a worksite template. The original timeframe to complete the template was the first seven days of reopening, which has now been moved to 14 days within the first day of reopening.

Some restrictions on group gatherings outside have now been lifted.

“I am pleased to announce effective today (Friday) outdoor gathering limits are being increased to a maximum of 50 people. No matter where you live as long as physical distancing of at least two meters is being maintained between different households, and everyone attending that gathering follow proper hygiene practices.”

Hinshaw said it is better to hold off on gatherings if you know proper physical distancing guidelines can not be maintained.
Indoor gatherings still must not exceed more than 15 people.

If you are planning to travel to a summer home or cottage, Hinshaw says to prepare for minimal stops to limit the spread, and non-essential travel outside of Alberta is still not recommended.

She said how people act during the long weekend can be a litmus test to show how the spread of the virus is being limited, so you are reminded to still practice physical distancing, proper hygiene, and do not share food or drinks if going camping with other people.