March 24, 2020 COVID19 Provincial Update (video)
Provincial Press Release March 24, 2020 @ 5:30 PM
A second Albertan has died and 57 additional cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 358. Aggressive public health measures continue to help limit the spread of COVID-19.
Cases have been identified in all zones across the province:
214 cases in the Calgary zone
86 cases in the Edmonton zone
20 cases in the North zone
28 cases in the Central zone
Eight cases in the South zone
Two cases where the zone is still under investigation
Of these cases, 19 have been hospitalized, seven have been admitted to intensive care units (ICU), and two patients have died.
Up to 28 of these cases may be due to community transmission.
A COVID-19 outbreak was confirmed last night at the McKenzie Towne Continuing Care Centre in Calgary. This has resulted in one death of a resident – the second COVID-19 related death in the province. The individual was a female in her 80s. She developed symptoms on March 22 and died March 23. One staff member and two other residents have tested positive.
There are 11 other symptomatic residents with tests pending. The source of the infection is not yet known.
The number of confirmed recovered cases remains at three. A longer-term process for determining timely reporting of recovered cases is underway.
Aggregate data, showing cases by age range and zone, as well as by local geographical areas, is available online at ca/covid19statistics.
All Albertans who have travelled outside of the country, including snowbirds returning home from wintering in the United States and other countries, must go straight home upon returning to Alberta and self-isolate for 14 days.
This means not going to the grocery store, not stopping at the kennel to pick up their dog, not dropping their RV off for service or storage, and not having family and friends over to visit or going to visit them while isolated. It means going directly and immediately home, self-isolating for 14 days and monitoring for symptoms.
If symptoms do develop, individuals must self-isolate from all other members of their household for an additional 10 days from the beginning of symptoms or until they are feeling well, whichever takes longer.
People not experiencing symptoms are reminded they can still go outside, but this must be limited to activities such as walks, where the individual remains two metres away from others.
A bonspiel event was held in Edmonton March 11 to 14, during which some physicians were exposed to COVID-19. All attendees have been contacted and are self-isolating.
Twelve of the 47 Alberta health-care workers who attended the event have tested positive for COVID-19. All of their close contacts from the time they had symptoms, including some patients, are being notified as usual through local public health followup. Three of the infected individuals are physicians working in Red Deer. From these three cases, although they each worked less than a day while symptomatic, a total of 58 patients and 97 other health-care workers have been or will be contacted as potential close contacts of these three.
All Albertans need to work together to help prevent the spread and overcome COVID-19.
Community and social services Funding criteria and forms for the emergency funding to charities, non-profits and civil society organizations are now posted online.
The Emergency Financial Assistance web page now includes information on the federal and provincial supports/programs and a link to the COVID-19 page for more information. Community and Social Services has suspended in-person service delivery in its program offices and Alberta Supports Centres. Albertans should contact 1-877-644-9992 for more information.
Access to justice Albertans are asked to not enter courthouses unless they have official business and to first check online for current processes.
Provincial Court of Alberta Many youth criminal, criminal and family matters are postponed, and the number of operational courthouses and courtrooms is reduced. More information: https://www.albertacourts.ca/pc/resources/covid
Court of Appeal The Court of Appeal will hear matters by video or teleconference. Changes have been made to filing procedures, timelines and bail check-ins. More information: https://www.albertacourts.ca/ca/publications/announcements/notice-to-public-and-profession---covid-19
Court of Queen’s Bench The Court of Queen’s Bench will now allow lawyers to e-file documents. More information: https://www.albertacourts.ca/qb/resources/announcements/email-filing-of-court-documents
Information about charitable gaming proceeds Charitable groups can access information about how charitable gaming proceeds may be used during the pandemic. Contact aglc.ca for more information. Ongoing compliance checks for bars and nightclubs AGLC inspectors have visited 953 licensed bars and nightclubs throughout the province since March 17 and are taking enforcement action, including suspending licences, on any licensees that violate current orders to close.
Seniors facilities limiting visitation Seniors facilities are receiving social isolation and distancing information, and stronger restrictions are being put in place for visitors to long-term and seniors care facilities. Essential visitors will be restricted to a single individual who can be family, a friend, or a paid companion who provides care and companionship necessary for the well-being of the resident (physical and mental health) and/or a single designated visitor for a person who is dying, as long as only one visitor enters the facility at a time. Every visitor will undergo a health screening.
Offers of help The Alberta Emergency Management Agency Unsolicited Offers Program has been set up in response to growing offers of generosity from individuals and organizations to help with the challenges many Albertans are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those wanting to help can go to alberta.ca/COVID19offersprogram for more information.
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, and staying home and away from others if you are sick.
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.