There have been seven new cases of COVID-19 identified in the last 24 hours in Alberta.
Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said the day's numbers mark an occasion to celebrate.
“Not only are we reporting the highest number of tests done in 24 hours in the province, we also have the lowest daily number of new cases since March 12,” Hinshaw said.
“This is in large part thanks to your efforts and sacrifices.”
The province ran 6,455 tests in the last 24 hours. There are no new deaths to announce.
There are 6,624 people who have recovered from COVID-19 in the province, while 328 active cases remain. There are 44 people who have been hospitalized with six of them in ICU.
Hinshaw said effective tomorrow, Alberta Health Services will be releasing updated visitation guidelines for all hospital patients in both acute outpatient and inpatient settings.
“These revised guidelines expand the allowance of some visitation while maintaining specific criteria indented to protect residents, patients, volunteers and staff,” Hinshaw said.
The guidelines only apply to hospital settings; existing standards and rules for continuing care remain in effect.
Hinshaw said she knows the visiting restrictions are hard but they will be evaluated to see if they can be altered in the future.
The new rules to be announced on Saturday will allow for one support person to join a patient who is attending an outpatient care centre, while two designated support people may visit a patient who is in hospitalized inpatient care. The full guidelines can be found at the AHS website starting on Saturday.
Visitors will be required to undergo a self-assessment and will be asked to wear a mask and potentially other personal protective gear.
Alberta’s top doctor said as phase 2 of the province's reopening plan moves forward, Albertans have to remain vigilant and follow health measures to keep COVID-19 case numbers down.
The province wants to enhance its testing for the virus as provincial labs have built enough capacity to be testing anyone in the province, even if they don’t have symptoms.
“Even if you are feeling well and showing no symptoms, I encourage you to complete the online assessment and book a appointment for testing or go to one of the drop-in testing centres available in Edmonton or Calgary,” Hinshaw said.
Hinshaw encouraged anyone who is having symptoms of COVID-19 to stay home and use the online COVID-19 testing tool to arrange a time to get tested. This will allow for thorough contact tracing to prevent further spread of the virus.