June 15, 2020 provincial COVID-19 news (video)
Hospitalization rates remain low with 31 people in hospital, seven of whom are in intensive care. In total, 6,862 Albertans have recovered from COVID-19.
20 new cases bring the number of total active cases to 440.
Cases have been identified in all zones across the province:
Calgary zone: 214 active cases and 4,772 recovered
South zone: 24 active cases and 1,243 recovered
Edmonton zone: 175 active cases and 526 recovered
North zone: 24 active cases and 225 recovered
Central zone: two active cases and 85 recovered
One active case and 11 recovered cases in zones to be confirmed
Additional information, including case totals, is online.
To date, 620 cases have an unknown exposure.
So far, labs have performed 343,311 tests on 306,887 Albertans, with 3,462 tests completed in the last 24 hours.
There is one new death to report.
Deaths total 151: 111 in the Calgary zone; 16 in the North zone; 13 in the Edmonton zone; 10 in the South zone; and one in the Central zone.
There are 29 active cases and 702 recovered cases at continuing care facilities; 116 facility residents have died.
Stage two of relaunch underway
Low active COVID-19 case numbers means stage two of Alberta’s relaunch strategy is underway.
More businesses, sport and recreation services will be open. Some larger gatherings will be permitted.
Public health guidance must be followed.
Stage three depends on success in stage two. Success will be determined by the following factors: active case numbers, infection rates, health-care system capacity based on the number of cases in hospital and intensive care.
For more information, visit alberta.ca/RelaunchStrategy.
Relaxing the 30-day limit for prescription drugs
Starting today, pharmacists can dispense up to a 100-day supply of prescription drugs.
Pharmacists should use their professional judgment and dispense a 30-day supply when necessary for specific drugs that still have shortages or supply chain issues.
Government, industry, pharmacy organizations, and other health sector partners continue to monitor supply levels. If there is evidence that there is not enough supply, or that drugs are being stockpiled, government could re-introduce dispensing limits.
Free non-medical masks
Albertans can get four free non-medical masks per person at any Alberta A&W, McDonald’s Canada and Tim Hortons drive-thru while supplies last, no purchase necessary.
Masks are at drive-thrus only. Those who can’t get to a drive-thru are encouraged to check other options here.
Supporting Alberta businesses through relaunch
The Alberta Biz Connect web page has health and safety guidelines for general workplaces, and sector-specific guidelines. As we have entered stage two, businesses are encouraged to continue to check for new and updated guidance documents.
A template on the Biz Connect website can help businesses plan how to protect employees and patrons from infection. Completing the template is voluntary.
The next media availability with the chief medical officer of health will be held on June 17.
Albertans downloading tracer app
The ABTraceTogether app enhances manual contact tracing and capacity, and facilitates early detection. It means Albertans will be contacted more quickly if they are at risk.
Use of the app is voluntary; users must opt in. The app currently has 206,603 registered users.
Protecting privacy is paramount. The app does not track the user’s physical location and does not use GPS. All contact data is only on the user’s phone and is deleted after 21 days.
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 operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Canadian Mental Health Association has resources at mentalhealthweek.ca.
The Kids Help Phone is available 24-7 and offers professional counselling, information and referrals and volunteer-led, text-based support to young people by texting CONNECT to 686868.
Online resources provide advice on handling stressful situations and ways to talk with children.
Family violence prevention
A 24-hour Family Violence Information Line at 310-1818 provides 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.
People fleeing family violence can call local police or the nearest RCMP detachment to apply for an Emergency Protection Order. The requirement for in-person applications is temporarily suspended.
Information sheets and other resources on family violence prevention are at alberta.ca/COVID19.
Good hygiene is the most important measure to prevent respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19.
Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face, cough or sneeze into your elbow or sleeve, and dispose of tissues appropriately.
Albertans are asked to share acts of kindness they have experienced in their community during this difficult time by using the hashtag #AlbertaCares.
The Alberta Connects Contact Centre (310-4455) is available to Albertans Monday to Friday, from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Provincial Press Release June 15, 2020 @ 5:15 PM