The Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced on Jan. 21, all current COVID-19 restrictions will remain in place.
“Our numbers this week, positivity rate, active cases, and hospitalizations are continuing to decline. This is good news,” Hinshaw said.
“We are on a positive trend. Our numbers indicate that the restrictions we put in place last month while extremely challenging are helping to prevent more people from being exposed and getting sick with this virus,” she said.
Despite the progress that has been made, there was the same number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital on Jan. 21 as there were on Dec. 8, when the current restrictions were first announced.
“This means that our health system continues to experience significant strains and we must ease this burden as quickly as possible,” Hinshaw said.
“We need to continue driving community transmission down. That’s why it’s essential that we keep the current measures in place for a little while longer, and why we all need to make good choices and to rigorously follow all the orders in place,” she said.
Hinshaw encourages all Albertans to limit in-person interactions.
“I encourage everyone to be intentional and thoughtful with their outings, especially as temperatures drop and it may be difficult to stay outdoors for long periods of time,” Hinshaw said.
“The choices we all make tomorrow, and over the coming weeks will help determine how the coming months look in our province. Together we can keep protecting each other, and the health care system we all rely on,” she said.
Currently, Hinshaw is watching the number of hospitalizations, and the number of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) admissions.
“It’s encouraging to see the leading indicators of our case counts and our positivity rate going down. Ultimately what is most important is that we make sure our acute care system is able to respond to all of our health needs and to do that we need to give it a bit more time and the exact amount of time will really depend on how we all collectively work together to keep those numbers coming down,” Hinshaw said.
“We are protecting one another by reducing in-person interactions, which in turn is reducing the number of people who get sick, test positive, and ultimately require hospital care,” she said.
Adding, “In a year that has already been extremely difficult, I am proud of the sacrifices and community spirit that Albertans have shown to produce these encouraging numbers. At the same time, we are not in the clear just yet. That is why no additional measures are being eased at this time.”