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Eleven COVID-19 deaths, cases rise by 1,155 in Alberta

Last Updated Nov 20, 2020 at 6:04 pm MST

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. According to a poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research released on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML

EDMONTON (660 NEWS) – Alberta Health Services (AHS) is reporting 1,155 new cases of the COVID-19 in the province Friday.

There are 10,655 active cases of the virus province-wide.

In the Calgary zone, there are 4,272 active cases, while the Edmonton zone has 4,520.

Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw confirmed 11 additional deaths.

The death toll in Alberta is now at 462.

“Our current situation is grim,” Hinshaw said.

“I continue to be concerned about the rise in these tragic outcomes of COVID-19. Severe outcomes are not limited just to those already at the very end of their lives, and it is a mistake to think so.”

Earlier this week, two individuals in their 30s died as a result of the virus. Hinshaw said while both had co-morbidities these were not on their own life-threatening.

“The average age of those experiencing hospitalization is dropping. And about one in four people who need hospital care for COVID-19, and one out of every six in ICU with COVID-19, have no pre-existing medical conditions,” Hinshaw said.

She added having a chronic condition is quite common and include things like high blood pressure and diabetes.

Around one-quarter of adults over the age of 20 in Alberta have a chronic condition, which amounts to about 800,000 people.

“When looking just at men in Alberta, more than half of men over 50 and almost 70 per cent of men over 65 have high blood pressure,” Hinshaw said.

“That should not be a death sentence.”

Most Albertans will have a family member or friend with these conditions, Hinshaw said.

“We must remember that our actions protect these people as well as ourselves,” she added.

Three hundred and ten people are in the hospital, with 58 admitted to the ICU.

The province is monitoring hospitalizations and ICU admission closely, with Hinshaw ensuring that Alberta Health Services has the capacity to deal with an increase.

“There are 173 general adult ICU beds for this purpose,” she said.

“As more COVID-19 patients require intensive care, AHS is able to add additional intensive care capacity. AHS has already readied additional ICU beds in Edmonton zone and additional ICU spaces in Calgary zone will be ready if needed.”

Alberta would like to avoid this as Hinshaw says adding additional care capacity means stopping or delaying other services.

“The best way to ensure capacity is available, and to drive hospitalizations down, is to reduce community transmission,” Hinshaw said.

As of Friday afternoon, 32,835 people have recovered from COVID-19.