Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health came before Alberta Nov. 9 to discuss updates on the COVID-19 situation, vaccinations, and to remind everyone to have a safe Remembrance Day.
Hinshaw also noted that as the number of cases and hospitalizations continue to go down across the province, the frequency of these media briefings will be reduced.
“Remembrance Day is, of course, an important time where Canadians come together to honor the service and sacrifice of those who served, and continue to serve our country. To help organizers host a safe Remembrance Day ceremony this year, we have posted guidance online at alberta.ca”
Hinshaw also mentioned that for any Albertans attending ceremonies in-person to be mindful of physical distancing, masking, and capacity requirements. “And as always, if you have even minor symptoms, please stay home.”
With the relatively recent introduction of the Restrictions Exemption Program across Alberta as well, Hinshaw also stressed to make sure to have your proof of vaccination, negative test or medical exemption handy if the venue you are going to participates in the program.
“I’d also like to remind Albertans that beginning Monday, November 15, Albertans vaccine record must include the QR code in order to enter any business or venue taking part in the program.”
This would mean that vaccination records that do not have the QR code or paper immunization records received at the appointment will no longer be accepted. “The exception to this is First Nations and military vaccination records, which will continue to be accepted.”
Getting your new record is simple, just visit alberta.ca/covidrecords to get the QR code.
“Turning to today’s numbers, I am pleased to report that we continue to see a decline in our overall case numbers. Over the last 24 hours we have identified 422 new cases of COVID-19 and completed around 8,300 tests. This puts our positivity rate at about 5.1 per cent, and while we are headed in the right direction I want to be clear that this is still a significant number of people in hospital taxing our health-care system.”
“We must all continue to support efforts to bring these numbers down even further.”
Hinshaw also touched on a new tool to the arsenal of the health-care workers fighting COVID known as sotrovimab. This is a new drug that was developed specifically for treating patients with mild to moderate CVODI-19 symptoms. This drug can help prevent severe outcomes for those at the highest risk.
“Let me stress that this is not a replacement for COVID-19 vaccines. Albertans are still strongly encouraged to be vaccinated against the virus as vaccines are the most effective method to prevent the serious outcomes from this disease.”
“While this medication is helpful, it does not change the fact that vaccines continue to be our most important tool to protect both ourselves and others.”
Lastly, Hinshaw then touched on misinformation, specifically a rumour that the COVID-19 vaccine causes miscarriages.
“I want to ensure Albertans that we continue to look at safety, including this particular question in detail. There is no evidence that miscarriages or stillbirths have increased after COVID vaccines have been made available. In fact, evidence shows that there has been a slightly but steady reduction in the number of miscarriages in Alberta starting in 2019 — prior to the pandemic — and this has continued over the following two years.”
“For anyone hesitant about getting vaccinated, I urge you to seek out trusted, expert sources to help you make an informed decision.”