Edmonton·Updated

Alberta reports 3 more deaths, 50 new cases of COVID-19

Three more people in Alberta died from COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, while the province reported 50 new cases.

Total number of cases in the province is 1,423, with 519 people listed as recovered

Dr. Deena Hinshaw has sent a letter to the Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police, asking for their support enforcing new COVID-19 restrictions. (Art Raham/CBC)

Three more people in Alberta died from COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, while the province reported 50 new cases.

The three new deaths were all in the Calgary zone and include a man in his 60s, a woman in her 70s and a woman in her 80s. That brings to total number of deaths in the province to 29, and the total number of cases to 1,423.

The woman in her 80s was a resident in the McKenzie Towne Continuing Care Centre in Calgary, where 13 people have died from COVID-19. As of Wednesday, there have been 15 deaths reported involving residents at continuing care facilities.

As part of the ongoing battle to control the spread of coronavirus, the province on Wednesday expanded its testing criteria to include many more people who weren't until now on the priority list.

Because Calgary has seen about 60 per cent of the reported cases, the new criteria will include anyone in that city with COVID-19 symptoms, which are coughing, fever, runny nose, sore throat and shortness of breath.

Calgarians have to go through an online assessment tool to book a test and will not need to also call 811.

Also added to the testing priority list are essential workers, defined now as those whose workplaces remain open, have the same symptoms, and anyone with symptoms who lives with someone aged 65 or older. 

On the day when the province released reams of modelling data about the COVID-19 outbreak, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province's chief medical officer of health, said the most important factor in controlling the spread will be the actions all Albertans take in the next few weeks.

"We can change the outcome," Hinshaw said of the projection models. 

"To all Albertans, please stay home as much as possible," she said, while emphasizing the need to maintain physical distance during the upcoming long weekend. "This is our new normal for right now."

Of the total number of cases, 865 are considered active and 519 Albertans have recovered from the illness.

That's down from 900 active cases on Tuesday.

The regional breakdown of the case numbers and deaths looks like this:

  • Calgary zone: 860 cases, 20 deaths
  • Edmonton zone: 368 cases, four deaths
  • North zone: 95 cases, four deaths
  • Central zone: 72 cases, one death
  • South zone: 26 cases
  • Unknown: 2 cases

As of Wednesday, 68,762 people have been tested for COVID-19. 

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