May 31, 2020 provincial COVID-19 news
Hospitalization rates remain low with 52 people in hospital, six of whom are in intensive care. In total, 6,283 Albertans have recovered from COVID-19. No additional deaths have been reported.
Testing is now available to all Albertans, whether they have COVID-19 symptoms or not.
18 new cases bring the number of total active cases to 584.
Cases have been identified in all zones across the province:
Calgary zone: 440 active cases and 4,330 recovered
South zone: 42 active cases and 1,184 recovered
Edmonton zone: 69 active cases and 464 recovered
North zone: 28 active cases and 202 recovered
Central zone: two active cases and 95 recovered
Three active cases and eight recovered cases in zones to be confirmed
Additional information, including case totals, is online.
To date, 658 cases have an unknown exposure.
So far, 235,415 Albertans have been tested and labs have performed 260,365 tests, with 3,138 tests completed in the last 24 hours.
Deaths total 143: 104 in the Calgary zone; 16 in the North zone; 13 in the Edmonton zone; nine in the South zone; and one in the Central zone.
There are 61 active cases and 659 recovered cases at continuing care facilities; 109 facility residents have died.
Testing to expand
Testing is now available to any person without symptoms who wants to be tested.
Expanded testing will provide data to help trace the spread of the virus so public health officials can identify steps to limit the spread and determine how well public health measures are working. This evidence informs decisions to move to the next stage in Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy.
For more information, visit COVID-19 testing in Alberta
Non-medical masks available soon
Starting in early June, Albertans can get four free non-medical masks per person at all A&W, McDonald’s Canada and Tim Hortons drive-thru locations in Alberta, while supplies last. No purchase is necessary.
Alternative arrangements are being made for communities that don’t have easy access to a drive-thru location.
More details are available online.
Outdoor sports guidance available
While many sports activities remain prohibited during stage one of relaunch, some are being allowed with appropriate safety measures.
Information has been posted online to offer guidance on which sports are permitted, along with ways to limit risks.
Local restrictions may also be in place in addition to provincial public health orders.
Supporting Alberta businesses through relaunch
Stage one of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy is underway. The first stage of relaunch will be fully active in Calgary and Brooks on June 1, with day camps and places of worship resuming services (within guidelines).
The Alberta Biz Connect web page has health and safety guidelines for general workplaces, and sector-specific guidelines for those able to open in stage one of relaunch. Businesses are encouraged to check the page for new and updated guidance documents.
Businesses and locations can access a template on that web page to help them plan how to protect employees and patrons from infection.
Completion of this template is voluntary.
The next media availability with the chief medical officer of health will be held on June 1.
Situation reports continue to be distributed daily.
Albertans downloading tracer app
The ABTraceTogether app enhances current manual contact tracing and capacity, and facilitates 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 196,235 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 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 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.
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 May 31, 2020