Alberta reported its highest single-day death total since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said 30 deaths were reported over the past 24 hours. She said although not all those deaths happened Tuesday, the figure is still a tough one to hear.
To date, 790 people have died from the virus since the start of the pandemic.
“This is a heartbreaking figure,” Hinshaw said.
“If anyone still needs reminding about the seriousness of this virus– the importance of the restrictions that are currently in place and the importance of doing everything possible to limit our interactions and break the chains of transmission, this is it.”
Alberta has reported 125 deaths over the last seven days and Sunday, the province surpassed 700 deaths due to COVID-19. Nearly 87 per cent of the 790 deaths have been people over the age of 70.
“The death of a friend or family member is tragic at any time, but I know that during the holidays we can feel these losses and our loved ones’ absences more than ever,” Hinshaw said.
The province reported 1,571 active cases of COVID-19 Thursday and complete 19,800 tests, for a positivity rate of 7.9 per cent. Hinshaw reported 763 people were in hospital, including 138 in the ICU.
Central zone added 127 new cases and sits at 1,462 active cases of COVID-19, with 64 people in hospital, including four in the ICU.
Red Deer sits at 417 active cases, the same as Tuesday. Red Deer County has 100 active cases and Mountain View County has 34 active. Clearwater County has 64 active cases and Kneehill County has 20 cases.
Sylvan Lake has 38 active and Olds has 26 active. Lacombe County has 51 active cases and Lacombe sits at 27 active. The City of Camrose has 59 active and Camrose is at 29 active.
Ponoka County, the County of Wetaskiwin and Wetaskiwin have 327 combined active cases.
There are currently outbreaks in 450 schools, or about 19 per cent of schools in the province. These schools have a combined total of 1,966 cases. That includes 126 schools on the watch list.
Hinshaw added that Albertans should try as best as possible to make Christmas a virtual celebration with anyone outside their household this year.
“It may not seem like a big deal to get together with your extended family or a group of friends if you all feel fine, you may think there’s no risk in catching COVID-19 or passing it on to others. That is simply wrong,” she said.