COVID-19 claims 5 Albertans in one day

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health, provides an update March 30.

Five Albertans died from COVID-19 in what was the most deadly and devastating day since the first cases appeared in the province. The death toll now lies at eight for Alberta.

One woman in her 70s and another in her 50s died in Calgary. In Edmonton, two males in their 80s died. The fifth person was a man in his 30s in the northern health zone.

“This news is heartbreaking for all of us,” said chief provincial medical officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw. “Although these individuals had risk factors like older age or chronic medical conditions, their lives mattered as much as any of ours. This has been one of the hardest days yet, imagining the grief that these families are facing and my heart goes out to them.”

Twenty-nine new cases of the virus were confirmed since yesterday, bringing the total to 690. Hinshaw said as many as 65 in that total got the virus through community transmission.

The McKenzie Towne Care Centre in Calgary now has 36 residents and five staff members probable or confirmed with the virus. Two more have been confirmed in the Shepherd’s Care Kensington care centre in Edmonton, bringing their total to six.

Hinshaw acknowledged that the number of new daily cases was lower than it has been in recent days, it might be the result of changes in testing. Returning travellers are no longer being tested and there were fewer daily tests done as of late due to supply shortages.

In conference with colleagues across the country, Hinshaw said there was consensus that people in mandatory self-isolation for the required 14 days must stay on their property — inside or on deck, balcony or yard.

“Staying inside can save lives,” Hinshaw said.

Some 94 people among the 690 cases have recovered from the virus.

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