COVID-19 claims second life in Alberta; 57 new cases

A second Albertan has died from COVID-19. A woman in her 80s who was a resident of the McKenzie Towne Continuing Care Centre in Calgary died yesterday of the illness.

As well, the province confirmed 57 new cases yesterday, bringing the provincial total to 358, said provincial chief medical officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw.

“This news is extremely sad for all of us,” she said during a daily update. “Tragically, we know that deaths will occur” from the virus.

Of the total number of cases in Alberta, as many as 28 appear to be from community transfer as opposed to infection from returning travellers. Nineteen people have been hospitalized and seven are in intensive care, Hinshaw said.

With regard to the care centre, she said one staff member and two other residents have tested positive and 11 more are showing symptoms. An investigation is underway to determine the source.

Hinshaw also gave an update on medical personnel who got the virus after attending an Edmonton curling bonspiel March 11-14. Twelve of the 47 Alberta health care workers who were there have tested positive for COVID-19. Three were doctors in Red Deer who treated patients before realizing they had been exposed. Hinshaw said the 58 patients and 97 other health care workers they came in contact with have been or will be contacted.

“This experience is a reminder that it is critical to immediately self-isolate” if exposed to the virus, Hinshaw said.

The vast majority of Alberta cases have been connected with international travellers returning to the province, she added. There are now 214 confirmed cases in the Calgary zone, 86 in Edmonton, 28 in the central region, eight in the south and 20 in the north.

The province has tested 32,418 people.

Today’s report from the World Health Organization indicated there are now 372,757 confirmed cases, 39,827 within the last 24 hours. There have been 16,231 deaths, 1,722 in the last 24 hours.

Contact barb.glen@producer.com

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