New COVID-19 watches added in Alberta, including 2 in Calgary
Two Calgary regions, Calgary-Centre and Calgary-Elbow, are now under watches because of the number of active cases in each.
CALGARY -- A spike in COVID-19 cases means seven regions in the province have now entered into a "watch" status, which is an increase of three, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health announced during her daily update Thursday.
"These regions are all being monitored closely and no additional measures are being taken at this time."
The three new areas of concern are:
- Calgary-Centre (38 active cases, population 66,198, 58 cases per 100,000)
- Calgary-Elbow (22 active cases, population 40,385, 54 cases per 100,000)
- Cardston County (11 active cases, population 16,459, 67 cases per 100,000)
The new watches have joined those that have already been reported on the province's website, which includes a watch in Wheatland County that was briefly called off this week before being put back in place.
Officials say the watches are largely linked to outbreaks reported in those areas, including one involving a southern Alberta Hutterite colony, but there is no further information that can be shared.
"We cannot comment on specific cases due to patient confidentiality," said Tom McMillan, assistant director of communications with Alberta Health in an email to CTV News. "The map reflects the patient’s address, not the location of the exposure."
McMillan adds Alberta Health Services has taken action in all the affected regions.
"Health officials conduct contact tracing and anyone at risk of exposure is contacted, isolated and tested. Anyone at risk is contacted directly."
This is the second time Calgary-Centre has been under a COVID-19 watch this pandemic. The first time was back in June, after 45 cases of coronavirus were attributed to Verve, a condo building in East Village.
The COVID-19 cases connected to the outbreak (56) have remained unchanged for the past few days. There are only two active cases connected to Verve, with one of those patients still in hospital.
ALBERTA ADDS MORE THAN 100 CASES
During the update, Hinshaw announced 120 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, bringing the province's total number of people sick with the illness to 807.
She said the increase in case numbers caused her great concern and emphasized the importance of why all Albertans need to follow all public health rules.
"It may seem odd that staying two metres apart is still important as we reopen so much of our society, but it still is. Combined with other public health measures, this is one of the most effective ways to control the spread of COVID-19," she said.
"It isn't always easy, but it is important."