Over the weekend, six cases of COVID-19 were confirmed to be linked to the Sofina Foods processing facility in Edmonton. The province is monitoring the outbreak and is offering sitewide testing to employees.
“These cases are part of a small jump in COVID numbers in Edmonton, some of which are related to ongoing spread from several social events where transmission happened over the past few weeks,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, during a media update Monday.
“With the slowdown in cases in Alberta, I know it has been tempting to believe we can relax all precautions – unfortunately, this is not the case. It is critical that all of us continue to take steps to protect our communities.”
This past weekend, many people were involved in protests against racism. Hinshaw said the freedom to protest is critical, but poses a challenge for how to protest without "risking super spreader events."
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Anyone who attended demonstrations is encouraged to go for COVID-19 testing – whether or not symptoms are present. Hinshaw asked that participants be mindful of their actions in the coming two weeks and to stay two metres apart from others, and wear a mask if that is not possible.
The province has announced 64 new cases of COVID-19 over the past two days, with a total of 355 active cases. Currently, there are 44 people in hospital and six people in ICU with the virus. Altogether, 6,698 people have recovered from the virus.
Three more people have died from the virus since Saturday, which brings the current death toll to 149.
The province is also looking at how the virus has affected the mental health of Albertans.
“We are starting to get information on some of the mental health issues emerging from this pandemic. It is clear that this crisis has taken a toll," Hinshaw said.
The mental health help and addiction health help line run by Alberta Health Services has increased capacity to take calls. That number is 1-877-303-2642.
The Health Quality Council of Alberta is inviting Albertans to take part in a survey “to better understand the holistic impacts of the virus.”