Alberta reports 111 new COVID-19 cases, one new death
Some restrictions on singing, playing wind instruments are being modified
Alberta reported 111 new COVID-19 cases Friday and one new death from the disease.
There are 1,444 active cases in the province.
Forty-one people are in hospital, including six in intensive care.
The number of people who have died from the disease in the province remains at 253, Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, told a news conference.
One death previously attributed to COVID-19 has since been determined not to be related, Hinshaw said.
Here is the active case breakdown as of Friday:
- Edmonton zone: 580
- Calgary zone: 560
- North zone: 213
- Central zone: 45
- South zone: 38
- Unknown: 8
Hinshaw said 29 Alberta schools have reported COVID-19 cases, with a total of 32 infected individuals.
"These schools are not a risk to their communities, and those still attending are not at greater risk of exposure," she said. "Anyone potentially exposed has been contacted and is self-isolating."
New guidance on singing
Hinshaw said the province's restrictions on singing and wind instruments are being modified in light of new evidence about how the virus is transmitted.
"The arts play an important role in schools and in our emotional well-being and the restrictions have been hard for many," she said.
Indoor singing and playing of wind instruments were severely limited during the early days of the pandemic. But emerging evidence suggests "these activities can be done safely, if rigorous and proper precautions are in place," Hinshaw said.
Singing by audience members is still not allowed and congregational singing in churches is discouraged, she said.
"This is because it is easier to ensure that all guidance is rigorously and regularly applied with smaller groups while singing in a larger group without these same ongoing rigorous measures could lead to large transmission events."
On Thursday, Hinshaw reported 113 new cases and five more COVID-19 deaths.
Drop-in testing in Edmonton
Starting Saturday, drop-in COVID-19 testing within Edmonton will only be offered at the new central assessment centre, in Hall A of the Expo Centre, 7515 118th Ave.
Drop-in testing will no longer be offered at the Edmonton south assessment centre after Friday, Alberta Health Services said in a news release. That facility will remain open for testing by appointment only, AHS said.
Testing can be booked online by visiting www.ahs.ca/covid. People without internet access can call 811 to book an appointment.