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Two new deaths, 364 new cases of COVID-19 in Alberta

Last Updated Oct 8, 2020 at 5:48 pm MDT

FILE - This 2020 electron microscope made available by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention image shows the spherical coronavirus particles from the first U.S. case of COVID-19. On Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, The Associated Press reported on stories circulating online incorrectly asserting COVID-19 is a man-made virus intentionally manufactured in a lab and released to the public. Scientists say the molecular structure of SARS-CoV-2 rules out the possibility that the virus was created in a lab. (C.S. Goldsmith, A. Tamin/CDC via AP)

EDMONTON (660 NEWS) – Alberta has confirmed 364 new cases of COVID-19 and two new deaths within the province.

A total of 283 Albertans have died as a result of COVID-19.

The two most recent deaths, a man in his 70s and a woman in her 80s, are both connected to the outbreaks at Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary and were reported Wednesday by AHS.

There are currently 2,097 active cases within the province, up 187 from the last update.

Of those active cases, 77 are in hospital and 13 are in ICU.

A total of 17,338 Albertans have recovered from the virus.

There are active outbreak alerts in 170 schools, with 370 active cases in total.

A total of 72 schools have outbreaks with 14 on the watch list.

However, Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw says this is a cautious number.

“We are defining two cases as an outbreak, which is a very low threshold and reflective of a very cautious approach.”

She adds that it takes at least 28 days of no new cases before a school can no longer be considered an outbreak.

Hinshaw says there are now two new outbreaks in two units at Misericordia Community Hospital in Edmonton, where 10 cases have been confirmed.

“My colleagues have informed me that outbreak protocols are being implemented at the hospital to ensure the ongoing protection of patients, staff, and visitors.”

Hospital areas outside of the units are considered safe.

Hinshaw also says the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in the Edmonton zone is concerning.

“As I said on Monday, I am very concerned about the sharp rise in cases we are saying.”

There are more than 1,250 active cases in the zone.

“All parts of the Edmonton zone are being impacted by the rising spread of the virus, either directly or indirectly,” said Hinshaw.

She says that 11 per cent of active cases attended work or social gatherings while contagious, a fact she finds very concerning as well.

In response, Hinshaw suggests various voluntary measures for the Edmonton zone in order to prevent further spread going into the Thanksgiving weekend.

Private gatherings, not including school or worship, should be limited to 15 people, masks should be worn in all workspaces, and cohorts should be no more than three.