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Outdoor gatherings allowed under 50 people with social distancing, said Alberta top doctor

The province’s virus data map changed on Thursday. The red areas show to the top 10 per cent of affected areas (34-3525 cases) and gets lighter in areas with fewer infections. Image credit: Government of Alberta. 

Effective today, outdoor gathering limits in Alberta have been increased to a maximum of 50 people as long as physical distancing of at least two metres is being maintained between members of different households, said chief medical officer, Dr. Deena Hinshaw.

She said that everyone attending a gathering like this must practice proper hygiene and not share food or drink with anyone else, as this practice has frequently been linked to transmitting COVID-19, said Dr. Hinshaw.

This applies only to outdoor gatherings, and indoor gatherings are still restricted to a maximum of 15 people.

Travellers going to their cottage are encouraged to plan your trip without stops for gas or food where possible, and non-essential travel is still discouraged.

50 new cases, 4 deaths

After 4,505 new test results, chief medical officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw confirmed 50 new COVID-19 infections on Friday.

There are currently 1,073 active cases of the virus in Alberta and 5,317 individuals with resolved symptoms–82 per cent of total cases.

Four people have died in the past 24 hours, all residents of long-term care homes in the Calgary Zone. The COVID-19 death toll now sits at 125 total.

Sixty-two people are in hospital from the virus and nine of those are in intensive care.

Asymptomatic testing in the Calgary area has confirmed 50 cases since they began testing, as part of a batch of roughly 1,500 tests.

Investigations continue as to whether they were close contacts of a positive case or if it’s an unknown exposure.

Still one active case in Vermilion area

Fourteen total cases of the virus have occurred in the Bonnyville, Cold Lake, and St. Paul areas and all have recovered.

Four cases have resolved in the Vermilion River County area, but one case remains active.

New media availabilities

Dr. Hinshaw is scaling down the number of media availabilities from every afternoon to three times a week.

Next week, she’ll be available on Tuesday and Thursday, and in the weeks to follow she’ll provide updates on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.