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Regular COVID updates are a thing of the past, for now

CMOH Dr. Deena Hinshaw and Minister Jason Copping gave their last scheduled updated Wednesday afternoon, as COVID-19 indicators in Alberta continue to decline.
NEWS - Dr. Hinshaw COVID update April 7
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, gives a COVID-19 update on April 7, 2022.

The Province is putting weekly COVID-19 data updates to bed, at least for the time being.

All indicators continue to decrease, including PCR test positivity and wastewater levels, according to Health Minister Jason Copping, 

In an update Wednesday, Copping and Dr. Deena Hinshaw said the average positivity rate on a PCR test from June 14 to 20 was 12.2 per cent, a decrease of 1.6 per cent from last week. 

There are currently 661 people in hospital with the virus and 17 in intensive care. 

Over the last week, 13 deaths have been reported to Alberta Health as it relates to COVID. 

Online updates with new data will continue to be released every week. 

Chief medical officer of health orders for continuing care will end on June 30, though some procedures will remain in these facilities, said Hinshaw. 

These include managing symptomatic residents with testing, isolation and PPE protection, implementing outbreak protocols when needed to reduce transmission and continued masking for staff and visitors in long-term care, designated supportive living and hospice care. 

Last week, the Province moved to Step 3 of its 'Return to Normal' plan which saw the removal of mandatory masking on public transit and mandatory isolation for positive cases. 

Hinshaw said that while cases are expected to rise in the fall and winter alongside influenza season, the Province is in a different position this time around when it comes to health order. 

"While COVID will continue to pose a risk, we are no longer in a position where we need an emergency public health order to remind us to stay home when we are unwell," she said. 

The CMOH also addressed monkeypox in her last scheduled video update, telling the public there are now five confirmed cases in the province, all of which are in the Calgary and Edmonton zones. 

The newest case was a known close contact of another case in a different province and so the risk to Albertans at this time is low. However, Hinshaw said anyone with a new or worsening rash should avoid close contact with anyone to curb the potential spread.