The confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alberta have surpassed the 1,000 mark.
Over the past 24 hours, 107 new cases of COVID-19 have been identified in the province, bringing the total to 1,075.
Sadly, five more Albertans, 18 total, have now died from COVID-19.
Four of the latest deaths were at McKenzie Towne Long Term Care in Calgary. There have now been eight deaths at the facility.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw says a woman in her 20's from Edmonton has passed away, the youngest death in Alberta to date. Hinshaw says it's not clear at this time whether the woman had underlying conditions.
"This is a tragic reminder that it is not only the elderly or those with underlying conditions who are at risk," Hinshaw says. "The measures we have in place are to protect all of us."
Hinshaw says we continue to see ongoing new infections, however there hasn't necessarily been a spike in the past few days as the numbers may suggest.
"What we are actually seeing is the excellent work of lab services to work through a backlog of swabs that were waiting to be tested," says Hinshaw. "The sudden increase we have seen recently represents the date the lab completed the test, not when a person became ill."
Premier Jason Kenney says the latest jump in cases is attributed to a large number of tests conducted in the past 24 hours. He says more than 4,000 tests were administered and that the province has tested more than 60,000 so far.
"That's about 13,600 per million, which is significantly higher than any other province," says Kenney. "Indeed about three times the rate in Ontario and the vast majority of countries around the world."
Kenney says the data indicates that Alberta's health system is handling the pandemic better than most.
"The total number of infections and deaths will undoubtedly continue to rise in the days and in the weeks to come," says Kenney. "But so will the number of recovered cases, which today stands at 196 here in Alberta."
Kenney says they will release some details on modelling of potential paths of the pandemic in Alberta early next week.
"I can ensure Albertans today however, that the modelling indicates that we have the health care equipment, personnel, and supplies needed to cope with anticipated hospitalizations, including in Intensive Care Units and including the usage of ventilators," Kenney says.