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Hinshaw announces province-wide testing, 24 new cases of COVID-19 found

Last Updated May 29, 2020 at 5:49 pm MDT

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw providing daily COVID-19 update on May 14, 2020. (Photo taken from CityNews livestream)

EDMONTON (660 NEWS) — Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, announced 24 new cases of COVID-19 within the province.

Currently, there are 616 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, while 6,220 Albertans have recovered.

Of the active cases, 55 are in hospital and four are in ICU.

Health officials announced several outbreaks in the province have ended, including Manoir du Lac and the Horizon work camp.

There are no new deaths attributed to the virus.

Alberta has exceeded over 250,000 tests conducted since the start of the pandemic and is immediately expanding testing to asymptomatic Albertans.

“We have the capacity to do more and in preparation for stage 2 of our relaunch. Now is an opportune time to expand testing to get a full understanding of the presence of COVID-19 in our population,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw said in Friday’s COVID-19 update.

“Expanded testing will also help us understand where there might be undetected positive cases and therefore prevent further spread of the virus.”

Anyone who wants a test will be able to access one, however, priority will continue to be given to symptomatic individuals and close contacts of known COVID cases, Hinshaw added.

There is no limit on how many tests a person can take but Hinshaw warned this shouldn’t replace public health orders because it’s only a “snapshot” in time.

Testing in Calgary can happen immediately while booking appointments will be live across the province starting next week.

Alberta is looking to move into stage 2 of its relaunch mid-June.

Calgary and Brooks can move into its final stages of phase 1 Monday, allowing for Day camps, summer schools and places of worship to open. Places of worship can not exceed 50 people for in-person services with precaution to limit the spread of the virus.