Alberta is on track to record 1,000 new COVID-19 cases a day by the end of the week and that could potentially lead to lockdowns, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi warned Tuesday.
Speaking ahead of the regular update by Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province's chief medical officer of health, Nenshi said numbers released Tuesday are "extremely troubling."
"We are on track as a province to having 1,000 new cases a day as soon as the end of this week. So this is extraordinarily troubling," he said.
"We're not just above where we were in the spring, we are far above where we were in the spring. And a vaccine apparently didn't come before the U.S. election today so it is months away.
"So we need to re-double our efforts to avoid a lockdown. We need to re-double our efforts to look after one another and to flatten this curve again, and it's not hard. The three things we need to do to flatten the curve have not changed."
Those include maintaining good hygiene and washing hands when possible; keeping physical distance when in public; and wearing masks when you are in indoor public locations and when physical distancing isn't possible.
"I don't want another lockdown, nobody wants another lockdown, but ultimately, if that's our only choice to keep people healthy and safe to avoid an economic meltdown, then that's what we have to do," said Nenshi.
On Tuesday, Alberta Health reported 2,268 cases since Friday, an average of more than 500 cases per day, and shattered records for active infections and hospitalizations to start the ninth month of the pandemic.
Hinshaw called the numbers "concerning."
"What we need is to bring those numbers down and what we do today will predict our case numbers that we see in a week to 10 days from now," she said. "What we're seeing today is due to the behaviour of people in the last week to 10 days."
Last week Hinshaw announced a limit of 15 people for social gatherings in Calgary and Edmonton due to increasing numbers in the two cities.
The province added 581 cases on Friday, 525 on Saturday, 592 on Sunday and 570 on Monday.
Active cases, now at 6,110, increased by nearly 1,000 in the past four days.