Alberta health-care worker dies from COVID-19

Alberta has lost its first health-care worker to the COVID-19 pandemic, and on Monday added another 96 deaths to the grim and growing toll.

The news came as the province reported a total of more than 5,100 new COVID-19 cases over the previous five days. As of Monday, there were 13,989 active cases in Alberta.

The total number of deaths has now reached 1,142, an increase of 96 since Dec. 29.

The five-day breakdown of new cases was:

  • Jan. 3, 1,128
  • Jan. 2, 459
  • Jan. 1, 933
  • Dec. 31, 1,361
  • Dec. 30, 1,226

“I’m deeply saddened to hear that an Alberta health-care worker has passed away as a result of COVID-19,” Minister of Health Tyler Shandro said Monday in a statement.

“The tragedy of this loss will be felt across the system, and by those who were cared for by this individual and their co-workers. Their service will not be forgotten.”

Shandro offered condolences to the family, friends, loved ones and colleagues of the unidentified health-care worker.

A spokesperson for Alberta Health said the worker was from the Calgary zone.

The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees said the man who died was a health-care aide at Bethany Riverview in Calgary. 

“Health-care workers are doing all they can to protect the people they care for, their co-workers, and themselves,” Shandro said in his statement. “The dedication and remarkable commitment I’ve witnessed from health-care workers throughout the pandemic has never wavered – you have stepped up for this province in a time of need.”

Across the province there are 905 patients being treated in hospitals for the illness, including 136 in intensive-care beds.

The regional breakdown of active cases as of Monday was:

  • Edmonton zone: 5,983
  • Calgary zone: 4,700
  • Central zone: 1,523
  • North zone: 1,284
  • South zone: 266
  • Unknown: 83

The province also released the R-value for the time period from Dec. 28 to Jan. 3.

  • Alberta provincewide: 0.99 
  • Edmonton Zone: 0.92
  • Calgary Zone: 1.02
  • Rest of Alberta: 1.06

The R-value, also called the reproduction number, is essentially the number of people infected by each infected person.

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