May 20, 2020 provincial COVID-19 news
Alberta’s COVID-19 hospitalization rates remain low with 58 people in hospital, seven of whom are in intensive care. In total, 5,637 Albertans have recovered from COVID-19. One more Albertan has died.
19 new cases bring the number of total active cases to 970.
Cases have been identified in all zones across the province:
Calgary zone: 784 active cases and 3,773 recovered
South zone: 99 active cases and 1,105 recovered
Edmonton zone: 59 active cases and 450 recovered
North zone: 18 active cases and 197 recovered
Central zone: six active cases and 92 recovered
Four active cases and 20 recovered cases in zones to be confirmed
Additional information, including case totals, is online.
To date, 624 cases have an unknown exposure.
So far, 203,397 Albertans have been tested and labs have performed 221,571 tests, with 2,607 tests completed in the last 24 hours.
Deaths total 128: 92 in the Calgary zone; 15 in the North zone; 12 in the Edmonton zone; eight in the South zone; and one in the Central zone.
There are 89 active cases and 607 recovered cases at continuing care facilities; 94 facility residents have died.
Strengthening safety measures for travellers
The Alberta government is enacting the strongest public health measures in the country for international travellers to prevent the spread of travel-related COVID-19 cases.
Travellers arriving at the Edmonton and Calgary airports from outside Canada will have to pass a provincial checkpoint, have their temperature taken using an infrared camera and complete an Alberta isolation questionnaire that details how they will follow mandatory isolation requirements.
Provincial officials will follow up with arriving travellers within three days to ensure they are following public health orders and have the information and support they need.
Read today’s news release for more
Access to justice
The Provincial Court of Alberta has updated its plan for the staged resumption of court operations. The changes involve family mediation; the rescheduling and adjournment of provincial tickets, bylaws and other matters; and criminal adult out-of-custody criminal trials and preliminary inquiries.
More information: https://albertacourts.ca/pc/resources/announcements
Supporting Alberta businesses through relaunch
Stage one of Alberta’s relaunch strategy is underway.
The Alberta Biz Connect web page provides business owners with information on health and safety guidelines for general workplaces, and sector-specific guidelines for those able to open in stage one of relaunch.
Businesses and locations that are reopening can access a template on that web page to help plan how employees and patrons will be protected from the spread of infection.
Completion of this template is voluntary.
The next media availability with the chief medical officer of health will be held on May 21.
Situation reports will continue to be distributed daily.
Alberta Connects hours of operation
The Alberta Connects Contact Centre (310-4455) has resumed normal operating hours and is available to Albertans Monday to Friday, from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Albertans downloading tracer app
The ABTraceTogether app will enhance current manual contact tracing and capacity, and facilitate early detection to help reduce the spread of the virus and better protect Albertans. 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 does not track the user’s physical location and does not use GPS. Protecting privacy is paramount; all contact data is only on the user’s phone and is deleted after 21 days.
The app currently has 181,037 registered users.
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. The Canadian Mental Health Association has a variety of resources available 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 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 that people fleeing family violence apply in-person for an Emergency Protection Order (EPO) is 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 washing 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.
Anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19, including cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat or shortness of breath, is eligible for testing. To access testing, complete 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.
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 May 20, 2020 @ 6:00 PM