More than 50 schools report epidemics; Alberta reports 26 more deaths

Another 702 schools across the province are on alert, which is triggered by two or more cases identified within 14 days

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More than 50 Alberta schools are grappling with outbreaks of 10 or more cases of COVID-19, while 702 more are on high alert with two to nine reported cases, according to data released Wednesday by Alberta Health.

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Eleven of the 54 schools affected by COVID outbreaks are in the Calgary area, including three schools in the city – Canyon Meadows School, St. Hubert Elementary School and Buffalo Rubbing Stone School.

According to Alberta Health’s 12-page list, the Central Zone has the most schools with outbreaks at 21, while the Southern Zone has only one at Crescent Heights High School in Medicine Hat. .

The list details the impact of the fourth wave in classrooms across the province, signaling schools on the outbreak or alert status for the first time this school year. The list will be updated daily, however, an online map similar to the one that was available last school year is in production and should be ready in the coming weeks, Alberta Health said in a statement.

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There are 702 schools across the province on alert, which is triggered by two to nine identified cases within 14 days. This includes almost 500 with two to four cases and 212 with five to nine cases.

Contact tracing in schools will resume on October 12 as students return from Thanksgiving weekend. In mid-November, Alberta Health Services will take care of advising parents of close contacts.

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange on Tuesday promised rapid home test kits will be available later this month for families with K-6 children who attend schools with outbreaks.

“This will give us another way to protect our youngest children who cannot yet be vaccinated, by providing a screening tool for asymptomatic people,” LaGrange said.

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Prime Minister Jason Kenney said on Tuesday the government would seek to acquire six million rapid test kits for this testing program.

“By protecting our youth, we will help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our schools and beyond in our communities,” Kenney said.

Alberta reported 1,263 more cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the number of active cases to 18,912.

Among the active cases, 4,787 – or 25% – concern young people aged 5 to 19 years.

With 26 more deaths from COVID-19 reported on Wednesday, including the death of a 22-year-old Calgary-area man without pre-existing conditions, the pandemic death toll in Alberta has exceeded 2,800.

Twenty-one of the 26 people reported dead on Wednesday were unvaccinated, said Dr Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health. The 22-year-old is the 13th person in his twenties to die from COVID-19 in the province.

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Alberta has lost a total of 2,804 people to COVID-19.

“The vaccines work. They protect us, our families, the community and our health care system, ”Hinshaw said online Wednesday.

There are 1,083 COVID patients in the hospital, including 247 in intensive care units.

Of the 836 non-ICU patients, 73.7% are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, while 90.2% of those in the ICU are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.

Almost 85 percent of eligible Albertans received at least one dose of the vaccine, representing 72 percent of the total population. And 75.2 percent of people 12 and older are fully immunized.

Health Minister Jason Copping said online Wednesday that educating vaccine hesitants and vaccinating more Albertans quickly is one of his main efforts right now.

“It will require awareness, understanding, kindness and action from all of us,” Copping said.

He encouraged those who are not vaccinated to speak to a trusted doctor.

“Make sure you entrust your rest to the right experts and check with a range of sources, not just those who agree with you,” he said. “This pandemic has been a difficult journey for all Albertans. But Albertans are tougher than this pandemic and we are compassionate. “

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Twitter: @BabychStephanie

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