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Coronavirus: 71% of Alberta’s total cases are in Calgary zone; another death brings fatalities to 51

A look inside an assessment centre in Calgary where coronavirus testing is done.
A look inside an assessment centre in Calgary where coronavirus testing is done. Courtesy: Alberta Health Services

Alberta has 165 new cases of COVID-19, reaching a total of 2,562, the province confirmed in a news release on Saturday.

Of those, nearly half are recovered and over 71 per cent of the total cases have been reported in the Calgary zone.

There are 1,162 recoveries, meaning there are currently 1,349 active COVID-19 cases in Alberta.

An additional Albertan has died, a woman in her 90s in the Calgary zone, bringing the province’s death toll to 51. The woman was not in a care centre, according to the province.

So far, there have been 35 deaths in the Calgary zone, eight in the Edmonton zone, seven in the North zone and one in the Central zone.

The province said that out of the total, there have been 293 cases confirmed at continuing care facilities and 32 of those residents have died.

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The current breakdown of total cases by zone is as follows:

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  • 1,820 cases in the Calgary zone
  • 433 cases in the Edmonton zone
  • 137 cases in the North zone
  • 76 cases in the Central zone
  • 77 cases in the South zone
  • 19 cases in zones yet to be confirmed

There are currently 57 people admitted to hospital due to COVID-19, with 14 of them in intensive care units, according to Alberta Health.

New testing method

Alberta Health Services confirmed Saturday that there was a new testing method being used for COVID-19 in the province.

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Now, patients will be receiving throat swabs instead of nasal swabs.

Kerry Williamson with AHS said in a statement Saturday that the method was switched to “carefully manage our swab inventory while we increase test volumes and to reduce variability in the quality of samples coming into the lab on the deep nasal swabs.”

READ MORE: Alberta will test everyone in continuing care facilities with outbreaks for COVID-19, symptomatic or not

The new method was recommended by Alberta Precision Laboratories.

Williamson said that the lab has confirmed a throat sample is effective at detecting the virus.

In total, there have been 92,962 people tested for COVID-19 and a total of 96,897 separate tests performed, the province said. Over the last 24 hours, there were 4,092 tests completed.