An additional 29 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 690. While these numbers are lower than in recent days, this may be attributed to fewer lab tests completed due to challenges with lab testing supplies. Lab testing is now back to full capacity.
Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw had some sad news to pass along during her daily COVID-19 update.
Dr. Hinshaw also provided an update on the number of new cases.
She stressed the importance of staying in your own home.
- Cases have been identified in all zones across the province:
- 422 cases in the Calgary zone
- 164 cases in the Edmonton zone
- 46 cases in the Central zone (7 in Red Deer County, 2 in Olds, 1 in Innisfail, 1 in Didsbury, 1 in Crossfield and 1 in the Three Hills/Highway 21 area)
- 45 cases in the North zone
- 12 cases in the South zone
- One case in a zone that is yet to be confirmed
- Of these cases, there are currently 28 people in hospital, with 11 admitted to intensive care units (ICU).
- In total, there have been 47 hospitalizations, with 17 admissions to ICUs.
- Sixty-five of the 690 cases are suspected of being community acquired.
- There are now a total of 94 confirmed recovered cases.
- There have been a total of five new deaths reported since the March 29 report – two in the Edmonton zone, two in the Calgary zone, and one in the North zone. There are now a total of eight deaths in Alberta.
- Two people from the McKenzie Towne Long Term Care have passed away. Forty-one people are confirmed to have tested positive for the virus at the facility – 36 are residents and five are staff.
Linkages have been made to this outbreak over the last few days and the reported cases are not all from the last 24 hours.
- The person who tested positive at Edmonton’s Rosedale on the Park facility has also died.
- The Edmonton zone recently reported an outbreak at Shepherd’s Care Kensington. The number of cases remains at four in that facility.
- 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.
- Restrictions remain in place for close-contact businesses, dine-in restaurants and non-essential retail services. A full list of restrictions is available online.
- Albertans are prohibited from attending gatherings of more than 15 people, and they must continue to observe two metres of social distancing. This includes events both indoors and outdoors, such as family gatherings, weddings and funerals. Further details are available online.
Exploring faster lab testing
Alberta Health Services (AHS) is partnering with a Canadian technology company to provide rapid testing for COVID-19 for Alberta.
Spartan Bioscience is developing a COVID-19 test kit that would allow AHS lab workers to test for suspected COVID-19 in rural communities, rather than needing to send test samples to the two centralized laboratories in Edmonton and Calgary. More details are available in this AHS news release.
To align with new federal rules under the Quarantine Act, Albertans under mandatory self-isolation are now required to remain inside and can only go for walks on their own property, such as their backyard, for the duration of their self-isolation.
- They can no longer go for walks in their neighbourhoods or through parks until their self-isolation period ends.
- People who live in apartment buildings or highrises must stay inside and cannot use the elevators or stairwells to go outside.
This applies to everyone in mandatory self-isolation – those who are feeling well and those who have symptoms of COVID-19 including cough, fever, shortness of breath or a runny nose.
Albertans are legally required to self-isolate for 14 days if they:
- returned from travel outside of Canada after March 12
- are a close contact of a person who tested positive for COVID-19 (provides care, lives with or has close physical contact, or comes into direct contact with infectious body fluids)
If you become sick during this time, you must self-isolate for an additional 10 days from the beginning of symptoms or until you are feeling well, whichever takes longer. Read more about how to self-isolate.
Charities and non-profit organizations
Eligibility criteria for emergency funding for charities and not-for-profit organizations impacted by COVID-19 is available at https://www.alberta.ca/emergency-funding-for-charities-and-not-for-profit-organizations.aspx.
List of essential workplaces
The list of essential workplaces that can continue to operate in Alberta can be found online.
Mental health supports
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 1-866-332-2322 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 will allow the 811 health team 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.
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.
There is no formal deadline for emergency isolation support. This is a temporary program to bridge the gap until the Federal Emergency Care Benefit is available.
- 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.
- 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.