Edmonton is commemorating the two-year anniversary of the World Health Organization declaring COVID-19 a pandemic, as the province exceeds 4,000 deaths from the virus.
On March 11, 2020, COVID-19 was proclaimed as a pandemic and in order to remember the Edmontonians who lost their lives to the virus, city flags were flown at half-mast, while the High Level Bridge will be lit in yellow, Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said in a statement Friday.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every single person worldwide in ways we could have never imagined. We have seen schools, workplaces and other industries shift to unfamiliar online methods,” Sohi said.
“We have missed graduations, weddings and births, and we have grieved alone in the death of loved ones. We have been put through financial hardship, we have experienced mental health concerns, and we have sacrificed immensely. However, none of this compares to those who have lost their loved ones to COVID-19.”
On Friday, Alberta reported 11 more deaths due to COVID-19, raising the provincial death toll to 4,003.
There are currently 1,045 Albertans hospitalized with the virus, a decrease of 22 since Thursday. Of those, 74 are in intensive care units, a decrease of two.
Over the last 24 hours, 473 new cases of COVID-19 were identified, after 2,519 PCR tests were completed for a positivity rate of 18.7 per cent.
Across the province, there are 6,545 active cases, a decrease of 144.
In the Edmonton Zone, which includes the city of Edmonton and surrounding municipalities, there are 1,960 active cases, a decrease of 32. Within the city of Edmonton, there are 1,278 active cases, or 123.1 per 100,000 people.
In his statement, Sohi also noted the “bravery and fortitude” of essential and frontline workers over the past two years.
“They continue to show up for Edmontonians and remain committed to keeping everyone safe, healthy and well — they are the true heroes of this pandemic,” he said.
“Although we have experienced so much grief, loss, uncertainty and frustration throughout the last two years, Edmontonians have embraced something that we must continue to hold close to our hearts — hope.”
Sohi said while the pandemic is not over, hope remains.
“Please continue to be kind and keep each other safe, and please take a moment to hold space for those who are grieving. A better tomorrow awaits us all,” he said.