Kenney balks at mandatory restrictions as 277 new COVID-19 cases reported

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Elsewhere in Canada, accelerating infection rates have led public-health officials to reintroduce some measures taken earlier in the pandemic. Ontario rolled back reopenings in some regions Friday, closing businesses like gyms and movie theatres as well as indoor dining.

A recent surge of cases hit Alberta this week, but the spike has largely been localized to the Edmonton area, which has seen a 50-per-cent rise in active COVID-19 infections in the past week alone.

The trend continued Friday, with the Edmonton zone home to more than half of the 277 new infections.

Those new cases come from more than 25,000 tests, a count that smashes Alberta’s previous single-day record of about 19,000 tests. The tests had a 1.1-per-cent positive rate, well below Thursday’s rate of 2.2 per cent.

The number of active cases rose to 2,225 from 2,097 the previous day. The Edmonton zone has 60 per cent of the province’s active cases despite having less than one-third of Alberta’s population.

Two new deaths from COVID-19 were announced. AHS reported an 11th patient at Foothills Medical Centre had died of the coronavirus as outbreaks at the Calgary hospital continued to grow. Three more patients tested positive for COVID-19; there are 45 cases in patients connected to the outbreaks and 86 cases in all.

A woman in her 80s living at Edmonton’s Millwoods Shepherds Care Centre also died of COVID-19.

However, the official number of deaths in Alberta remained unchanged, as two previously reported deaths were found to be unrelated to COVID-19 in post-mortem investigation. To date, 283 Albertans have died of the coronavirus.

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