Chief medical officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw made no changes to the provincial health orders on Thursday, and there is no official date of when these measures will be re-evaluated.
When responding to a question of how long these measures will last, Dr. Hinshaw said those decisions haven’t been made yet.
“Essentially what we’re doing is watching our hospitalizations, watching our ICU numbers particularly. Of course, it is encouraging to see the leading indicators of our case counts and our positivity rate are going down,” said Dr. Hinshaw during Thursday’s daily COVID briefing.
“But ultimately what is most important is that we make sure our acute care system is able to respond to all of our health needs. And to do that, we need to give it a bit more time. The exact amount of time, again, it will depend on how we collectively work together to bring those numbers down.”
Lakeland COVID update
Active cases have fallen in Cold Lake and the County of St. Paul, according to the province’s virus data map.
There is now 84 active cases in Cold Lake as of Thursday, a drop of 10 from the previous day. The County of St. Paul has 101 active cases, which represents a downtrend since the start of the week.
In the M.D. of Bonnyville, 71 cases are active, a rise of four active cases from Wednesday.
A big spike was seen in Lac La Biche with 11 more active cases, leaving 81 active total.
Vermilion River County has 13 active cases after an increase of six new cases on Thursday.
Active cases remained the same or similar in Smoky Lake County and Two Hills County.
There is 68 active cases in Smoky Lake County, seven active in Two Hills County.
There has been a significant number of recoveries in Frog Lake First Nation. In an update on Wednesday, 20 infections were reported recovered, leaving 33 active cases.
Cold Lake First Nations reports 20 active cases and 71 recoveries on their website currently.
Saddle Lake News, Events, Information page in their last update on Tuesday reported 17 active cases and one in hospital with the virus.
Eleven cases are active with 91 recoveries in Whitefish Lake (Goodfish) as of Thursday.
Two cases are reported active in Beaver Lake First Nation on Wednesday.
Kehewin Communications reported there is just one active case of the virus on Tuesday and 96 recoveries on reserve.
Provincial daily update
Dr. Hinshaw reported 678 new cases of COVID-19 after roughly 14,000 tests on Thursday.
That leaves the provincial positivity rate at 4.8 per cent.
Hospitalizations are starting to go down. There is 726 Albertans in hospital and 119 of those in ICUs.
Dr. Hinshaw said the hospitalizations are back to the same count as when enhanced health orders were put in place on Dec. 8.
Sixteen new deaths were reported to Alberta Health in the past 24 hours.