April 4, 2020 COVID-19 provincial update
Two Albertans have died since the last report, bringing the total COVID-19 related deaths in the province to 20. In addition, 106 new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed, bringing the total number in Alberta to 1,181.
Fifty-one of the new 106 cases are laboratory confirmed, and 55 are probable (symptomatic close contacts of laboratory confirmed cases). There is a delay in the reporting of probable cases because those cases are manually entered into the system. This does not reflect a single day increase of 55 new cases. Laboratory positivity rates remain consistent at two per cent.
Strong outbreak measures have been put in place at continuing care facilities.
Cases have been identified in all zones across the province:
734 cases in the Calgary zone
290 cases in the Edmonton zone
66 cases in the Central zone
68 cases in the North zone
18 cases in the South zone
Five cases in zones yet to be confirmed
Of these cases, there are currently 42 people in hospital, 14 of which have been admitted to intensive care units (ICU).
Of the 1,181 total cases, 133 are suspected of being community acquired.
There is now a total of 240 confirmed recovered cases.
There have been two additional deaths reported in the Calgary zone for a total of 20 deaths in Alberta. That’s a total of 13 deaths in the Calgary zone, four in the Edmonton zone and three in the North zone.
Alberta Health is tracking nine outbreaks at continuing care facilities. To date, 93 cases have been confirmed at these facilities.
There have been 62,520 people tested for COVID-19, and a total of 64,108 tests performed by the lab. There have been 2,148 tests completed in the last 24 hours.
Aggregate data, showing cases by age range and zone, as well as by local geographic 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 physical distancing. This includes events both indoors and outdoors, such as family gatherings, weddings and funerals. Further details are available online.
Alberta Health Services has announced further restrictions for visitors to Alberta hospitals. Details on the restrictions, as well as exceptions, can be found online.
Alberta Health Services has expanded its testing criteria for COVID-19 to include symptomatic individuals in the following roles:
Group home and shelter workers
First responders, including firefighters
Those involved in COVID-19 enforcement, including police, peace officers, bylaw officers, environmental health officers, and Fish and Wildlife officers
Correctional facility staff in both provincial and federal facilities
Anyone working in these groups is urged to use Alberta Health Services’ online assessment tool for healthcare workers, enforcement and first responders.
Relief for forest companies Government is deferring timber dues for six months to help ensure forestry companies can continue operations and retain staff during the pandemic. The move uses existing legislation to support Alberta’s third-largest industry, which is experiencing low markets for its products as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. More information is available online.
Bits and Pieces program More than 1,100 offers of support have poured into the government’s Bits and Pieces program from private and non-profit organizations. Offers include commercial vehicles, hotel rooms and mobile trailers, food and water services, hospital gowns, face masks, ventilators and other personal protective equipment. More information is available online.
Access to justice updates Limitation periods are suspended for statutes under the authority of Alberta Justice and Solicitor General. This covers a large variety of legal proceedings. More information is available online.
Outbreak standards for health settings Alberta’s chief medical officer of health has outlined orders on how to control outbreaks of COVID-19 and protect the residents and staff of licensed supportive living (including group homes and lodges), long-term care (nursing homes and auxiliary hospitals), and residential addiction treatment service providers licensed under the Mental Health Services Protection Act.
Under the orders, operators will be required to notify public health authorities, along with residents, families and staff, as soon as one individual (resident or staff) exhibits COVID-19 symptoms.
Staff who work at multiple facilities are required to immediately inform their supervisors if they have worked or are working at a facility where there is a suspected, probable or confirmed outbreak.
To protect our most vulnerable, in the case of a confirmed outbreak, operators will require staff members to work exclusively at one facility. This is in addition to the worker health screening guidelines that are already in place.
The new standards provide operators with direction, in varying levels of outbreak, on how to deploy staff and resources where most needed, implement isolation measures, and ensure staff have up-to-date training on care and protective equipment.
List of essential workplaces The list of essential workplaces that can continue to operate in Alberta can be found online.
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 online access to MADI and the emergency isolation support. We will provide daily updates about system availability.
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.
Provincial Press Release April 4, 2020 @ 6:11 PM