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Alberta sees largest daily increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases

There have been 79 cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Alberta since Friday, making for the largest daily increase since the virus was first diagnosed in the province. The latest data from Alberta Health Services shows the total number of cases in the province now stands at 621, with 42,527 tests done.

So far, there have been 38 people hospitalized and 12 admitted to Intensive Care Units. Up to 54 of the 621 cases may be due to community transmission. 53 confirmed cases have recovered. There are 43 cases in the Central zone, including two in Vermilion River County.

So far, no cases have been confirmed on First Nations. Alberta’s Minister of Indigenous Relations Rick Wilson said Saturday that he is working on a coordinated effort with the federal government and Indigenous governments to make sure Indigenous people in Alberta have access to supplies and care through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also Saturday, the government temporarily cut funding for transportation, educational assistants, substitute teachers, and other services that aren’t in use while classes are cancelled. Education Minister Adriana LaGrange says those funds will instead go to support Alberta’s COVID-19 response.

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“COVID-19 has changed both how we provide student learning, and the operational needs of the education system. I want to stress that this is a temporary arrangement as schools focus on at-home learning. I have full confidence the system will continue to be equipped to successfully deliver our education continuity plan.”

The decision comes two weeks after the province said schools would get their full allotted funding for the remainder of the school year. It has prompted criticism from CUPE Alberta and the Alberta NDP.

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