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Thursday data shows seven new COVID-19 cases in St. Albert

Nine more people have recovered, according to provincial numbers.
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Seven more St. Albertans contracted COVID-19 overnight in the city. Nine more people are listed as having recovered from the virus.

On Thursday, the province released new data showing active cases in the city now sit at 157.

In Sturgeon County, there are currently 29 active cases with 528 people having recovered from the virus. The county saw two new cases overnight and four recoveries.

Morin currently has 21 active COVID-19 cases with 321 people having recovered since the pandemic began. The town recorded two new cases overnight and one more recovery.

On Thursday, Albertans learned the province will not be easing COVID-19 restrictions immediately and it is unknown at what date the latest measures will lift.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw addressed the province Thursday, on the one year anniversary of her first provincial address, and said further restriction will not be eased until COVID-19 hospitalization and ICU rates drop. The decision will take into consideration daily new case counts, positivity rate and provincial R-value.

The current restrictions were imposed on Dec. 13.

If restrictions eased too early, Hinshaw said all of the hard work Albertans have done to get COVID-19 numbers down will be wiped away and the province will be battling an even bigger challenge. 

Alberta's top doctor said with hospitalizations still high, it is important Albertans keep following the current public health restrictions. Right now, there are 726 people in the hospital with 119 of them in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), which Hinshaw said was the same amount of hospitalizations as Dec. 8, when the province announced the current restrictions. 

"That is why it is essential that we keep current measures in place for a little while longer," Hinshaw said, adding Alberta has the second-highest active case rate per capita in Canada. 

On Thursday, the province announced another 678 new cases of COVID-19 diagnosed overnight with 14,000 tests run for a positivity rate of 4.8 per cent. 

There are currently active alerts in 178 schools and outbreaks in four schools. There was likely in-school transmission in 23 schools, with 20 of those schools having just one new case.

The province is averaging 80 new cases per day in school-aged populations, compared to 140 per day in the week before school started again. 

In the past 24 hours, another 16 new deaths were reported to the province. 

Overall, Hinshaw said cases are dropping and the restrictions are working to prevent people from getting exposed to COVID-19 and getting sick. 

'We are on a positive trend," Hinshaw said. 

"An overwhelming majority of Albertans are doing their part."

There have been 96,000 doses of vaccine delivered in the province.

Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

About the Author: Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Jennifer Henderson is the Local Journalism Initiative reporter for Great West Newspapers based in St. Albert, Alta.
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