April 23, 2020 provincial COVID-19 news (video)
There are 1,357 confirmed recovered cases in the province, and 319 new cases have been reported, bringing the total number of cases to 3,720. Two Albertans have died since the last report, bringing the total number of reported deaths to 68.
Cases have been identified in all zones across the province:
2,633 cases in the Calgary zone
454 cases in the Edmonton zone
373 cases in the South zone
157 cases in the North zone
80 cases in the Central zone
23 cases in zones yet to be confirmed
Of these cases, there are currently 72 people in hospital, 18 of whom have been admitted to intensive care units (ICU).
313 cases are suspected of being community acquired.
The total deaths are: 42 in the Calgary zone; 14 in the North zone; nine in the Edmonton zone; one in the Central zone; and two in the South zone.
To date, 390 cases have been confirmed at continuing care facilities, and 44 residents at these facilities have died.
There have been 112,562 people tested for COVID-19 and a total of 117,835 tests performed by the lab. In the last 24 hours, 4,336 tests have been completed.
Any individual exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, including cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat or shortness of breath, is eligible for testing. People can access testing by completing the COVID-19 self-assessment online. A separate self-assessment tool is available for health-care and shelter workers, enforcement and first responders.
Major summer events
Alberta’s chief medical officer of health has confirmed that gathering restrictions currently in place also apply to all one-time or annual summer events, including arts and culture festivals, agricultural fairs and rodeos, major sporting championships and industry conferences.
The orders in place prohibit gatherings of 15 or more people. They also require people gathered in groups of fewer than 15 to maintain a distance of two metres from one another.
By clarifying these restrictions now, organizers will be able to provide advance notice of 60 days or more that may help them limit unrecoverable expenditures, and cancel contracts in a timely manner.
The Alberta government is working with major event organizers to ensure they understand the restrictions, to help mitigate the impacts of cancellations wherever possible, and to look for innovative ways to highlight Alberta arts and culture online.
These restrictions will continue to apply until evidence demonstrates that the spread is controlled.
Voluntary tracing app coming soon
To help enhance and complement contract tracing, the Government of Alberta has developed a mobile contract tracing application: AB TraceTogether. The app is in the final testing phase and is expected to be available to all Albertans in the coming weeks.
Strong tracing and tracking of contacts - leveraging technology - can be an important tool to augment manual contact tracing while limiting the spread of COVID-19. Being contacted earlier will allow individuals to take action sooner to prevent the spread.
This app, which will be available to all Albertans for voluntary download, will help Albertans protect themselves, their loved ones and their community, while maintaining their privacy.
As the temperature rises, Albertans may want to get outdoors to improve both physical and mental health, but they should keep in mind recommendations about physical distancing.
Albertans can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by following all public health orders when outdoors. Restrictions on events, gatherings and certain types of businesses are in place to limit situations where COVID-19 could be transmitted through contact with an infected individual or through contact with frequently touched surfaces and objects.
More details, including examples of activities that can be done while maintaining physical distancing, can be found online at https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx
Albertans who are healthy and looking to help others can visit the new Alberta Cares Connector website to find or post volunteer opportunities. They can also call Alberta 211’s resource and referral network.Access to justice
The Provincial Court of Alberta has provided new guidelines for family and child protection applications. More information: https://www.albertacourts.ca/pc/resources/covid
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 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Online resources provide advice on handling stressful situations and 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.
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.
Support is available to increase staffing of health-care aides and alleviate pressures in contracted continuing care facilities. Read the news release here.
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 23, 2020 @ 4:30 PM