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COVID cases climb over long weekend

There are currently 15,486 active cases in the province, with 602 people in the hospital and 137 in intensive care. Another 17 Albertans lost their lives to the virus, bringing the total deaths during the pandemic to 2,407. 
0809 COVID wrap

Active cases in St. Albert jumped to 147 after the September long weekend.

On Tuesday, the province released new COVID-19 showing the city jumped from 133 active cases to 147, marking an increase of 14 cases over the weekend. Cases haven't been this high in the city since mid-May. 

In Sturgeon County active cases jumped from 118 to 127 over the weekend and Morinville has risen from 35 active cases to 42.

Across the province, cases are rising, with another 1,330 cases diagnosed in Alberta on Friday Sept. 3, 1,450 on Sept. 4, 820 on Sept. 5, and another 1,303 on Monday Sept. 6, totalling 4,903 for the long weekend.

There are currently 15,486 active cases, with 602 people in the hospital and 137, which is up from 118 on Friday in intensive care. Another 17 Albertans lost their lives to the virus, bringing the total deaths to 2,407. 

The numbers come after the province implemented an Alberta-wide mask mandate, which kicked in at 8 a.m. on Saturday Sept. 4 along with further incentives for the unvaccinated to get their doses. 

On Friday morning, after weeks of not addressing the province, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw, and Alberta Minister of Health Tyler Shandro held a press conference announcing a provincial mask mandate and said the cases in hospital are primarily those who are unvaccinated. 

The new rules say anyone in an indoor public space, or a workplace will need to wear a mask unless there are workstations where physical distancing or adequate physical barriers are possible. 

Also, as of Saturday Sept. 4 at 8 a.m., restaurants, cafés, bars, pubs, nightclubs, and other licensed establishments will be required to end alcohol service at 10 p.m. although they can stay open later. 

The premier said the pandemic is impacting unvaccinated Albertans at a much higher rate than those who have received their vaccinations.

"For the love of God, please get vaccinated now," Kenney pleaded, adding those who are unvaccinated are 50 to 60 times more likely to be hospitalized. 

“This is essentially now a crisis of the unvaccinated,” Kenney said.

“You are putting yourself at risk and the health-care system at risk.”

The province is asking those who haven't been vaccinated to limit their social contacts in indoor settings to close contacts of only two cohort families, up to a maximum of 10 people. 

For Albertans who are currently unvaccinated who decide to get the vaccine, they will receive a $100 pre-loaded debit card from the province as an incentive to get their dose. The incentive is valid between Sept. 3 and Oct. 14. 

Jennifer Henderson

About the Author: Jennifer Henderson

Jennifer Henderson is the editor of the St. Albert Gazette and has been with Great West Media since 2015
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