The influenza vaccine will be available at no cost starting Monday in Alberta. “The more that we can avoid influenza-related tests, emergency visits and hospitalizations, the stronger our system will be to support those with COVID-19 and all other health needs," says Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province's chief medical officer of health. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Hinshaw urges Albertans to get flu shot as COVID cases jump by 332

Alberta’s central zone now has 132 active COVID-19 cases

The province’s chief medical officer of health is asking Albertans to get their flu shot amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Influenza is not new like COVID-19, but it is very serious. Last winter, almost 8,500 Albertans contracted the flu, and ultimately, 41 died,” Deena Hinshaw said during a COVID-19 update Friday afternoon.

“Getting immunized is an easy way to protect your health. The flu shot won’t prevent COVID-19, but it will reduce your chances of getting influenza and spreading it to others.”

The provincial government announced 332 new COVID-19 cases Friday. There are currently 2,836 active cases, 18,651 recovered cases and 288 deaths caused by the virus in Alberta.

Hinshaw said people getting immunized will help support Alberta’s pandemic response.

“We can’t yet prevent COVID-19 with a vaccine, but we can help stop the flu from taxing our health system,” she said.

“The more that we can avoid influenza-related tests, emergency visits and hospitalizations, the stronger our system will be to support those with COVID-19 and all other health needs.”

Starting Monday, the influenza vaccine will be available at participating pharmacies and doctor’s offices for anyone over the age of five, said Hinshaw.

The City of Red Deer now has 35 COVID-19 cases, according to geospatial mapping on the provincial government’s website. This is four more active cases than in Thursday’s update.

Meanwhile, Ponoka County has 39 active cases, the City of Lacombe has 12, Lacombe County and Mountain View County both have nine, Red Deer County has five, Olds has four and Sylvan Lake has two.

The central zone sits at 132 active cases, which is the lowest of all Alberta Health Services zones.

The Edmonton zone has 1,525 active cases, Calgary has 820, the south zone has 202, the north zone has 145 and 12 are located in an unknown location.

The City of Calgary is been placed on the government’s virus watch list, said Hinshaw.

“We have recently seen several outbreaks in that city linked to social gatherings, and this is yet another reminder that no region is immune from this virus and that one case can quickly lead to many if restrictions are not followed.”

Hinshaw said she is not recommending any additional measures for Calgary, “but we are working with local partners to monitor the situation closely.”

Provincially, 117 people are hospitalized due to the virus – 11 of those individuals have been admitted into an intensive care unit. The central zone has three hospitalizations, but none are in ICUs.



sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Stettler town hall. (Lisa Joy/Stettler Independent)
Town of Stettler launches redesigned website

The new website increases user functionality and offers additional features

Larry Clarke
Stettler Reeve Larry Clarke discusses goals for 2021

Despite challenges, projects were completed through 2020

Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw
Alberta eases some COVID-19 restrictions

Salons, barbershops and other personal and wellness services will be open by appointment only

fruit
Diabetes management classes temporarily moving online

AHS program helps participants manage pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes

Lesser Slave Lake UCP MLA Pat Rehn. (Facebook)
Kenney kicks Pat Rehn out of UCP caucus after municipal complaints

Rehn had been criticized by municipal leaders in his constituency

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials says it will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

blessing
Bentley Blessing Pantry continues to faithfully serve the community

‘We just wanted to make everyone aware that we are still here to serve you throughout this coming year.’

A Suncor logo is shown at the company’s annual meeting in Calgary on May 2, 2019. A worker is missing after a dozer broke through ice on an inactive Suncor tailings pond in northern Alberta.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Worker missing after dozer breaks through frozen tailings pond in northern Alberta

The worker was an employee of Christina River Construction

File Photo
‘You took away some real joy,’ Sylvan Lake Winter Village turned off after vandalism

Sometime during the night of Jan, 12 the light display at the pier was vandalized and damaged

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID clarity: Feds say 42-day gap for 2-dose vaccines OK as provinces race to immunity

‘Realities on the ground’ means that provinces, territories will have difficult choices to make

(Pixabay photo)
Alberta surgeon who hung a noose in a hospital found guilty of unprofessional conduct

College of Physicians and Surgeons says sanctions will be determined at a later hearing

Most Read