For the second day in a row, Dr Deena Hinshaw provided a COVID 19 update. Before providing the numbers report she spoke to a troubling report she received. "Some Siksika First Nation members were recently denied access to local businesses as a result of recent cases being reported in their community." She said this was not the first report of individuals being singled out. "COVID 19 doesn't care where people come from or what person's heritage may be. The virus is not restricted to any particular race, region or community. Dr Hinshaw said the Siksika First Nation response was quick, transparent, and proactive to control spread of the virus. Hinshaw says, "When the result of that prompt transparent action is stigma against their members, it sends the message against transparency and risks discouraging people from being tested or cooperating with public health."

Dr Hinshaw reported over 6000 tests were processed in the past 24 hours resulting in 86 new cases. There are 55 people in hospital with 13 of those in ICU. Sadly, two new deaths were reported, one of which was linked to the Misericordia Hospital outbreak in Edmonton. 

The Cochrane/Springbank area is reporting one new case bringing the total active cases to 4 and 21 recovered. 

Dr Deena says, "The virus has now been in Alberta for four months and while we saw cases decline from the peak we saw in April, our daily cases have begun to rise over the past few days. This pandemic has been a long haul and I worry that Albertan's may be starting to tune the messages out. It can seem like old news and many are tired of hearing this information. We are concerned with the recent rise in cases we are seeing."

So even though the message is old it is still important. We must continue to practice the health protocols. As Dr Deena says, "Everyone of us acts as a shield that protects our friends, families, and neighbours from this virus."