In her update on Thursday Dr. Deena Hinshaw addressed increased anxiety issue that people are experiencing with the impending return to school in a few weeks. She spoke to the fact that some may question why schools are reopening during a pandemic. "My answer is that we must look at the overall health of our population and everything that contributes to health. We cannot simply focus on COVID 19 alone as there are other risks that must be factored in. We know a great deal more about the virus now than we knew six months ago when we were dealing with our first cases. We also know very clearly that measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID came with their own risks to health and wellness. We must learn how to live with this virus and find the right balance." explains Dr. Hinshaw.

Alberta's top doctor also shared her personal decision that her school aged children will be returning to school. However, she hastened to add, "But I want to be clear, there is no wrong decision about the a return to in-school or online learning. Each parent is uniquely positioned to make the best decision for their family. Regardless of your choice, taking precautions is our new normal for all ages. I believe that by working together we can help our children reclaim this part of their educational and social development and minimize the risk to staff and students in schools." 

Dr. Hinshaw also shared that AHS are posting updated detailed guidance on the response to any students and staff showing symptoms upon the return to school and what protocols will be followed. That information can be found here.

As for the numbers update:

  • 103 new cases were reported in the past 24 hours
  • 1084 total active cases in the province
  • Cochrane's active cases remain at zero 
  • Rocky View County has seen an increase to six active cases
  • 43 people are in hospital with 12 in ICU
  • one additional death was reported 
  • over 9,200 were processed in the past 24 hours

Dr. Hinshaw speculated that the higher number of tests may be due to teachers and school staff being tested prior to the September start of school.