Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw updates media on the COVID-19 situation in Edmonton on Friday March 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw updates media on the COVID-19 situation in Edmonton on Friday March 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

20,721 active cases: Alberta records 2nd highest COVID-19 total in pandemic

Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo has invoked a state of local emergency to deal with case counts above 1,100

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health says there are 20,721 active cases of COVID-19 in the province — the second-highest total since the pandemic began.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw is declining to answer questions on whether stricter health measures are needed or whether she has recommended such measures be taken.

She says elected officials make those decisions and whatever she recommends to Premier Jason Kenney’s COVID-19 cabinet committee is confidential.

The province has had more than 1,000 new cases every day for weeks and hospitalization rates are approaching what they were during the peak of the second wave in December.

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, which includes the city of Fort McMurray, has invoked a state of local emergency to deal with case counts above 1,100.

Kenney said this week the situation is concerning, but has been alleviated somewhat by more than one million Albertans getting vaccinated.

He has dismissed calls for new measures, saying the existing ones would suffice if more people would follow them.

The Canadian Press

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