April 29, 2020 provincial COVID-19 news (video)
Confirmed recovered cases now number 1,953, and 315 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported, bringing the total number to 5,165. Seven more Albertans have died.
Cases have been identified in all zones across the province:
3,520 cases in the Calgary zone
833 cases in the South zone
489 cases in the Edmonton zone
205 cases in the North zone
84 cases in the Central zone
34 cases in zones yet to be confirmed
Of these cases, there are currently 86 people in hospital, 22 of whom have been admitted to intensive care units (ICU).
580 cases are suspected of being community acquired.
The total deaths are 87: 57 in the Calgary zone; 14 in the North zone; 11 in the Edmonton zone; four in the South zone; and one in the Central zone.
To date, 503 cases have been confirmed at continuing care facilities, and 59 residents at these facilities have died.
There have been 136,511 people tested for COVID-19 and a total of 143,886 tests performed by the lab. In the last 24 hours, 5,205 tests have been completed.
The number of confirmed and recovered cases among health-care workers is available online. The vast majority of cases are believed to have acquired their infection outside of the workplace.
Outdoor gathering and physical distancing exemptions for Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo
Due to the emergency flooding situation, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health has issued an exemption to the existing COVID-19 gathering restrictions and mandated physical distancing in outdoor spaces for individuals in the Fort McMurray area who are engaged in flood suppression and prevention activities.
It is recommended these individuals wear personal protective equipment, if available.
The safety of Albertans is our top priority, and during emergency situations like this, communities need the ability to quickly and collectively respond as a community.
A strategy is in place to identify and respond to COVID-19 outbreaks. It involves three elements: prevention and preparedness, rapid response and timely notification, and outbreak management.
New and clarification of public orders
New public orders have been put in place to help with the continued protection of residents in long-term care and supportive living, as well as to improve their quality of life.
Effective April 29, the list of symptoms that require staff assessment and then testing is being expanded. In these facilities, anyone with even the mildest symptoms must immediately be isolated and tested for COVID-19. As soon as a COVID-19 case is identified, residents in the affected unit are now tested, even if they are feeling fine and show no symptoms. To protect the health of workers, any staff member caring for an isolated resident must also wear eye protection, along with all other appropriate PPE, including a gown, mask, visor and gloves. There is also new guidance to help support residents who wish to temporarily move into another setting like a family member’s home.
Residents in continuing care facilities, who are not in isolation, can now enjoy outdoor visits with a designated essential visitor and one other person. All appropriate precautions must be taken to prevent exposure to COVID-19 including physical distancing and requiring all visitors to wear a mask or face covering.
Visitation circumstances where an Albertan is at the end of their life have been clarified to ensure individuals who are dying should have the opportunity to have their loved ones at their side, while following guidelines to ensure safety.
New measures for residential addiction treatment centres to prevent the risk of infection, while allowing individuals to continue to receive treatment and overcome their addiction.
Volunteer recognition program
While physical distancing and gathering restrictions are in place, there is still a need for healthy volunteers to help those in need, and countless opportunities to do so.
The Alberta Northern Lights Volunteer Awards program honours everyday heroes as the province responds to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is accepting nominations online.
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.
The requirement for in-person Emergency Protection Order (EPO) applications for those fleeing family violence has been temporarily suspended; provincial courts can now hear applications for EPOs via telecommunication.
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.
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. After completing the form, there is no need to call 811.
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 29, 2020 @ 6:01 PM