|Alberta is seeing the highest daily increases in active COVID-19 cases since April, putting infectious disease experts, doctors and politicians on edge. Thirteen regions in the province are also now under a „watch” designation, which means the area has more than 50 active cases per 100,000 residents. The highest is Clear Hills County, at a rate of 366.9 per 100,000 people. That’s a similar case rate to U.S. states like Washington, Oklahoma and Kentucky.
Craig Jenne, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Calgary, said the weekend’s numbers unfortunately confirm that steady increases over the past week aren’t a blip. He said that could mean there’s a need to implement more restrictions. „The more sick people there are, the more infected people there are, the more people that they in turn will infect if we don’t bring in additional restrictions,” Jenne said. Calgary continues to be a hot spot, with 553 cases, up from 385 on Friday. „We’ve doubled in one week, that’s exponential growth. If we double again in one week and again in one week, that means two weeks from now, we will have more active cases in Calgary than we had at the height of the crisis in April. So this is bad,” Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said Monday.
Calgary city council heard presentations from experts on Monday as it weighs whether to make masks mandatory on Calgary Transit. Dr. Raj Bhardwaj said if it were up to him, masks would be made compulsory immediately and that rule could be scaled back if the active case rate decreases, rather than waiting for circumstances to worsen before implementing that restriction. Calgary Emergency Management Agency head Tom Sampson said contact tracing has become more difficult, as people who test positive are in contact with significantly more people. „They’re now dealing with 15 to 20 contacts … they’ve got a bit of a challenge on their hands,” he said.