More than one million Albertans have been tested to date at least once says the province’s health minister.
The government’s website showed Monday more than 1.3 million tests have been conducted to date in the province and 1,001,638 Albertans have been tested.
Alberta has conducted more tests per capita for COVID-19 compared to B.C., Quebec or Ontario, said Health Minister Tyler Shandro Monday.
Shandro said that’s roughly one in four Albertans have been tested for COVID-19 and called it a historic milestone.
Alberta confirmed 406 COVID-19 positive tests Monday. The cases included statistics from the weekend: 60 on Friday, 184 on Saturday and 162 on Sunday.
The province confirmed four additional deaths over the weekend.
Central zone active cases went up to 18 Monday, from Friday’s 16. To date, seven people have died in the local zone.
The City of Red Deer had five active cases, according to the government’s website. That’s a decrease of one since Friday.
Red Deer County was at three active and Ponoka County at five.
One in Town of Sylvan Lake – same as City of Lacombe, Lacombe County, City of Wetaskiwin, Town of Olds and Town of Drumheller.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the chief medical officer of health, said Monday via video, she developed a sore throat and was tested for COVID-19 Friday.
The result was negative, but the top doctor will remain at home until her symptoms resolve.
“Despite this, I don’t want to pass on whatever I have to others,” said Hinshaw Monday. “I know staying home is not easy and that many Albertans face difficult financial or other choices.”
“Most of us have worked with sore throats or runny noses many, many times. However, during COVID that’s not a risk I or anyone should take.”
Influenza season is upon us and what happens with COVID and flu season is up to us, said Hinshaw.
“It depends on choices we make whether that be for COVID or influenza.”
The government website showed Monday there were six schools in the City of Calgary and Edmonton that are on the provincial watch list (school outbreak declared with five or more cases where disease could have been acquired or transmitted in the school).
Hinshaw said she’s heard recently: because younger people are at lower risk than seniors of experiencing severe outcomes, “we should protect older Albertans but otherwise let the virus spread so we can build up a collective immunity to it.”
She said herd immunity strategy is not the right approach because COVID-19 is able to spread rapidly, especially with inter-connected lives we all lead today, and the health system would be overloaded if virus spread freely.
“The more community transmission we see, the greater the risk of its spreading to older and at-risk Albertans.”
“Finally, we still don’t know if being infected with COVID-19 actually confers any robust or long-lasting immunity.”