Alberta sees another 609 new cases, no update for Cochrane

Alberta sees another 609 new cases, no update for Cochrane

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney will be appearing alongside Chief Medical Officer of Health Deena Hinshaw to update Albertans on "public health measures" this afternoon.

Meanwhile, Quebec is reporting more than 1,200 new cases and 29 more deaths linked to the virus, with the Health Department saying 11 of those deaths came in the past 24 hours.

No further breakdown of the province's COVID-19 statistics was available on Saturday due to technical issues with the province's system.

"We're not going to be sending out police to monitor this", he added.

Kenney says many new infections have been traced to house parties and gatherings.

The Government of Alberta is expanding the 15-person limit for social gatherings to any community under provincial watch status, which includes the City and County of Grande Prairie.

The new restrictions applies to social events such as parties, baby showers, banquets, and receptions for weddings and funerals. "This is appealing to people to exercise personal and collective responsibility".

Saturday's increase broke the prior one-day record set on Thursday with 802 new cases.

Opposition NDP Leader Rachel Notley doesn't want to see an economic lockdown either, but said Kenney's announcement again failed to take the steps needed to avoid extreme solutions down the road.

Current data also shows 171 people are in hospital with 33 of those in ICU. The change is expected to last until more trackers can be hired and trained. "And our loved ones at risk", said the premier.

In the spring, the province had only 50 contact tracers - there are now 800 people working at contact tracing, and the province is hiring another 380, Kenney said Friday.

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