In Wednesday's update, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's Chief Medical Officer spoke to the issue of some businesses opening against AHS rules.

Saying, "Business owners who choose to reopen despite our current restrictions are increasing the number of close contacts that are happening in their community, possibly making it harder for other business owners if that means restrictions need to stay in place for longer."

Hinshaw says she knows that Albertans are tired of hearing the same thing over and over and for months she has been repeating, "We are all in this together, and I know that for many this phrase is wearing thin." She goes on to add the phrase is not a slogan, "It is an irrefutable, biological, fact of COVID-19 that we cannot escape or choose to opt-out of."

Hinshaw says the business owners who prepare for a safe future reopening but follow the measures currently in place are helping their communities, protecting our health care system, and helping Alberta get to a low enough level of community transmissions so reopening can happen faster.  

Hinshaw said communities that support those businesses through this difficult time are making it easier for them to do the right thing.  

In the COVID-19 update for Wednesday, January 13, Dr. Deena provided the current numbers.

  • There were 875 new cases reported in the past 24 hours after over 16,000 tests were performed. Creating a positivity rate of 5.3%.
  • There are currently four schools on alert and one on outbreak. Six cases in total have been identified. 
  • There are 820 people in the hospital with 137 ICU.
  • Another 23 deaths have been reported in the past 24 hours bringing the total to 1,368 death in the province. The victims ranged in age from 48 to 96.
  • Cochrane dropped one active case for a total of 48. 
  • Rocky View County added four active cases for a total of 86.

While the protocols and restrictions are becoming tiresome, they do seem to be helping reduce the numbers associated with COVID-19.

Dr. Hinshaw says, "Twice now, we have reduced the rising spread by working together and bringing our contact numbers down. This is the only tool we have to control the spread of the virus until enough vaccine is available to protect the majority of our population."