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Key indicators continue to show a decline in COVID-19 in Alberta, according to Wednesday’s report which will also be the last “regularly scheduled” in-person update, according to the province’s chief medical officer of health.

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Dr. Deena Hinshaw said updates will be provided as necessary and that the data dashboard would continue to be updated weekly.

But, she also added that changes would be coming to how COVID-19 data is reported, and that the current data dashboard would be integrated with the influenza data page.

“We will be implementing a more sustainable approach to monitoring that will result in several changes,” she said.

“In the fall, we will update our reporting in line with our influenza dashboard so Albertans can see a consistent picture of what respiratory virus trends are like.”

The change was part of a theme — emphasized Wednesday by Hinshaw and Health Minister Jason Copping — of Alberta moving towards a long-term approach of managing COVID-19.

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“A system for managing public health threats existed before the pandemic and Alberta will summarize much of this previous approach while incorporating essential lessons learned from COVID-19.”

Copping also announced the health orders pertaining to continuing care facilities will be rescinded on June 30.

“Residents will continue to be a priority for additional booster doses and are among those eligible for antiviral treatments,” Copping said.

Indicators continue downwards trend

The latest data report showed the number of new cases, patients in hospital, and deaths related to COVID-19 all continued to decline.

There were 1,086 new confirmed cases between June 14 and June 20. The 65 new daily cases reported on Sunday were the fewest in almost a year, since July 18, 2021.

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As of June 20, there were 661 patients with COVID-19 in hospital, including 17 in intensive care units. The total represents a significant drop since the 904 recorded at the start of June.

The seven-day average of test positivity now sits at 12.3 per cent. The 8.74 per cent test positivity recorded on Sunday was the lowest one-day value recorded in six months, since Dec. 18, 2021.

The number of COVID-19 related deaths rose by 13, up to 4,604 since the start of the pandemic.

The data dashboard is next scheduled to be updated next Wednesday.

The Alberta government announced the end of the remaining COVID-19 public health restrictions last week, including mandatory isolation and masking on public transit rules.

Isolation, although not required, is still recommended for those who test positive for COVID-19 or are symptomatic.

— with files from Lisa Johnson

[email protected]

Twitter @ByMatthewBlack

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