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184 active cases in Airdrie as students return to class

Confirmed active cases of COVID-19 have gone up to 184 in Airdrie as students return to class around the city.

Confirmed active cases of COVID-19 have gone up to 184 in Airdrie, as students in kindergarten to Grade 12 return to class around the city.

As of Jan. 9, according to there have been a total of 1,614 cases of the virus in Airdrie. Of those, 1,419 have recovered and 11 deaths have been reported. The City has a case rate of 271 per 100,000 population.

As students return to in-class learning, two local schools are listed on the Province's school status map. Herons Crossing School and École Airdrie Middle School remain under "watch" status, meaning an outbreak of five or more has been reported. R.J. Hawkey Elementary School, Ralph McCall School and Good Shepherd School are listed under "open" status, with outbreaks of two to four cases each. 

Outside of Airdrie, Rocky View County (RVC) is reporting 85 active cases, which is an increase of seven since Jan. 6. Chestermere has added eight confirmed cases since then, and the city is now at 61. On the northwest side of RVC, Cochrane is reporting 53 cases.

In RVC, there are currently no schools listed on the status map. In Chestermere, Chestermere High School is listed under "watch" status. 

Provincially, there have been a total of 111,452 cases of the virus in Alberta, with 811 new cases reported Jan. 9. Of the total cases, 14,116 are considered active, 96,052 people have recovered, 794 patients are in hospital and 128 Albertans are in intensive care units. In total, 1,284 deaths have been reported in the province due to the virus.

During a COVID-19 update on Jan. 7, Premier Jason Kenney said economic restrictions that have been in place since Dec. 13 will be extended until at least Jan. 21 to try to curb the number of cases.

"We need some time to see what impact the holidays had on testing," he said. "Of course we also need to prioritize opening the schools, and see what impact that will have."

Kenney said he understands the news of business restrictions being extended by two weeks can be frustrating, especially after the news broke of government officials travelling and vacationing internationally over the holidays.

"Albertans are angry because of the terrible judgment that many in government have shown, and they are right to be angry," he said. "I heard Albertans loud and clear. After all of the terrible sacrifices that people have made for 10 months, it was insulting for government leaders to holiday outside of the country."

Kenney said those frustrations cannot stop hard decisions that must be made to protect public health.

"Trust has been broken," he said. "I accept that trust must be repaired."