April 17, 2020 provincial COVID-19 news (video)
There are now 1,124 confirmed recovered cases of COVID-19 in the province. A total of 239 new cases have been reported, bringing the total number of cases to 2,397. No Albertans have died since the last report.
Cases have been identified in all zones across the province:
1,673 cases in the Calgary zone
429 cases in the Edmonton zone
135 cases in the North zone
77 cases in the Central zone
68 cases in the South zone
15 cases in zones yet to be confirmed
Alberta Health continues to closely monitor outbreak situations, and is working with employers and Alberta Health Services to expand testing to asymptomatic residents and staff in continuing care facilities and outbreak sites in the coming days. All workers from all companies at outbreak sites will be offered this opportunity.
Additionally, Alberta’s testing capacity is rapidly expanding and anyone with symptoms anywhere in the province can now be tested.
Those with symptoms of COVID-19, including cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat, or shortness of breath, should complete an online COVID-19 self-assessment. After completing the form, there is no need to call 811.
Alberta’s testing capacity is currently approximately 7,000 samples per day, and the laboratory network is working to increase this capacity.
Camping reservations temporarily suspended
Alberta Parks has suspended online campsite reservations and is refunding customers who have booked up to May 19.
The decision is in line with other jurisdictions, such as Ontario, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Parks Canada, which have also suspended or delayed camping reservations.
As the regulator of municipal wastewater systems, Environment and Parks is aware of reports from municipalities that some homeowners are flushing inappropriate items down toilets, such as disinfectant wipes or paper towels.
Albertans should avoid flushing items not intended for toilets because they can block sanitary lines, create service disruptions and cause sewer backups.
Temporary suspension of applications for emergency social services funding
Effective April 21, the Government of Alberta will be temporarily suspending applications for emergency social services funding to charities, not-for-profits and civil society organizations to support their COVID-19 response.
Government has received more than 600 applications for the $30-million fund. Current applications are being reviewed, and approvals for urgent requests will occur before reopening application intake.
Mental health supports
Confidential supports are available to help with mental health concerns. The Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642 and the Addiction Help Line at 1-866-332-2322 are available between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., seven days a week.
Online resources provide advice on handling stressful situations or ways to talk with children.
Family violence prevention
A 24-hour Family Violence Information Line is available at 310-1818 to get anonymous help in more than 170 languages.
Alberta’s One Line for Sexual Violence is available at 1-866-403-8000, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Information sheets and other resources on family violence prevention are available at alberta.ca/COVID19.
The most important measure 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, and disposing of tissues appropriately.
For recommendations on protecting yourself and your community, visit alberta.ca/COVID19.
All Albertans need to work together to overcome COVID-19. Albertans are asked to share acts of kindness they have experienced in their community during this difficult time by using the hashtag #AlbertaCares.
Provincial Press Release April 17, 2020 @ 4:31 PM