Alberta's COVID plateau continues.
 
In her latest provincial update, chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported 321 new cases after 6,425 tests.
 
That puts Alberta's positivity rate at 5.1 per cent.
 
One less Albertan is being treated in hospital, leaving the total at 518, with 101 patients in intensive care.
 
With 13 additional deaths, the total has risen to 3,201.
 
During the update, Dr. Hinshaw stressed that while numbers are declining, flu season is just around the corner.
 
According to Dr. Hinshaw, three seasonal flu cases have already been recorded in Alberta, and the uptake of the latest flu vaccine is lower than last year.
 
When asked if there was potential for a fifth COVID wave, she cited the cold weather conditions that usually contribute to the spread of infection during the winter as well as Alberta's number of unvaccinated individuals.
 
"With still having people in the community who are susceptible to the virus, with the very aggressive nature and high transmission potential of the Delta variant, and with the seasonality of the virus, people moving inside and having that increased risk in indoor settings, there is a risk that we could see a fifth wave."
 
She adds that taking precautions through hand washing, staying home when sick, and being vaccinated against COVID and the flu would all be valuable in staving off another wave.
 
Local numbers
 
Here are the active cases for the area:
- Fort Saskatchewan: 31 cases
- Sherwood Park: 50 cases 
- Strathcona County: 33 cases
- Sturgeon County: 52 cases 
- Morinville: 17 cases 
- Lamont County: 16 cases