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486 Alberta cases of COVID-19 in three weeks

Thursday, 26 March 2020. Posted in Shootin' the Breeze

486 Alberta cases of COVID-19 in three weeks
"There will be challenges coming in the next weeks," says Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health after announcing 67 new cases of COVID-19.

The increase brings the total number of cases to 486, which includes 27 who have now recovered and two who have died.

There are two new cases in the south, for a total of 12. This includes five in Lethbridge, two in the MD of Taber and five in Medicine Hat.

There is also one case in Claresholm, which is in the Calgary zone. More information about this case can be found here https://bit.ly/2Uk8VzC

Latest updates

  • Cases have been identified in all zones across the province:
    • 300 cases in the Calgary zone
    • 111 cases in the Edmonton zone
    • 26 cases in the North zone
    • 37 cases in the Central zone
    • 12 cases in the South zone

  • Of these cases, 21 are currently hospitalized, including 10 admitted to intensive care units (ICU).

  • In total, there have been 28 hospitalizations, with 11 admissions to an ICU.

  • Two deaths have been reported.

  • Up to 34 of the 486 cases may be due to community transmission.

  • A COVID-19 outbreak was confirmed March 24 at the Nelson Home, a Calgary group home for persons with developmental disabilities. Two care workers and a resident have tested positive for COVID-19, and two other residents have been tested with no results available yet. All individuals are self-isolating.

  • To date, 17 cases have been identified in staff and residents of continuing care facilities, including 14 in McKenzie Towne Long Term Care, one case in Rosedale on the Park and two at Shepherd’s Care Kensington Village.

  • There are 24 new confirmed recovered cases, bringing the total to 27.

  • Aggregate data, showing cases by age range and zone, as well as by local geographical areas, is available online at alberta.ca/covid19statistics.

  • All Albertans need to work together to help prevent the spread and overcome COVID-19.

Mental health supports

Alberta Health Services (AHS) has boosted its service to help Albertans should they need to speak with someone about mental health concerns.

If Albertans call the Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642 or the Addiction Help Line at 1-866-332-2323 between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., seven days a week, they will be connected directly to a dedicated team of AHS addiction and mental health staff.

This change will support 811 operators to focus on COVID-19 calls during the day and improve wait times for others needing telephone advice. Calls placed from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. will continue to be routed through 811.

Pausing some health construction projects and non-essential service contracts
In order to protect patients, families and staff providing key services inside health-care facilities, AHS has informed some contractors and vendors that provide non-essential services at some health facilities that their projects will be temporarily paused.

These include non-essential delivery services and facility maintenance, such as flooring replacement, departmental renovations or lighting retrofit projects.

Alberta Infrastructure is also working with AHS to ensure that construction projects being done inside health facilities do not impact the operations of the facility.

As each project is reviewed and assessed, Infrastructure will provide notice to affected contractors if any projects are deferred.

Emergency isolation supports

Emergency isolation supports are available for Albertans who are self-isolating or who are the sole caregivers for someone in self-isolation, and have no other source of income.

Applicants can view eligibility criteria and apply at alberta.ca. To carefully manage the flow of applications, we are periodically closing access to MADI and the Emergency Isolation Support.

We will provide daily updates about system availability.

Access to justice

Provincial Court of Alberta’s case management offices are closing and the Court of Queen’s Bench has updated processes.

Effective March 27, the Provincial Court of Alberta will close all of its case management offices. More information: https://albertacourts.ca/pc/resources/announcements/closure-of-case-management-offices-(cmo)

The Court of Queen’s Bench will allow remote commissioning of affidavits in certain situations. More information: https://www.albertacourts.ca/qb/resources/announcements/npp-remote-commissioning-of-affidavits.

The Court of Queen’s Bench has updates regarding modified hearings, processes for criminal, civil and family matters and rescheduled hearings. More information: https://www.albertacourts.ca/qb/resources/announcements/covid-19-amendments-to-master-order-2.

Food supply

Despite higher retail demand, Alberta’s food supply remains secure. Government is in regular contact with other levels of government, producers, distributors, retailers and processors to ensure it stays that way.

We are working with food banks and Indigenous communities to understand their needs and ensure everyone has access to the food supplies they need.

Medical evaluation for drivers’ licences

Alberta Transportation has extended the timeline to 90 days for most drivers requiring a medical evaluation to complete their medical form when applying for or renewing their licence.

This will reduce the current strain on the health-care system. Medically high-risk drivers will still be required to present their medical evaluation at the time of their application or renewal.

Offers of help

The Alberta Emergency Management Agency Unsolicited Offers Program has been set up in response to growing offers of generosity from individuals and organizations to help with the challenges many Albertans are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those wanting to help can go to alberta.ca/COVID19offersprogram for more information.

Quick facts

  • The most important measures that Albertans can take to prevent respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, is to practise good hygiene.
    • This includes cleaning your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, avoiding touching your face, coughing or sneezing into your elbow or sleeve, disposing of tissues appropriately, and staying home and away from others if you are sick.

  • Anyone who has health concerns or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should complete an online COVID-19 self-assessment.

  • For recommendations on protecting yourself and your community, visit alberta.ca/COVID19.

View the full press conference, including question-and-answer session with Dr. Deena Hinshaw below.

Shootin' the Breeze is committed to providing local news and to supporting the communities of Pincher Creek and Crowsnest Pass throughout the COVID-19 situation.

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