May 5, 2020 provincial COVID-19 news (video)
Recovered cases make up more than half of Alberta’s cases of COVID-19 at 3,219. Fifty-seven new cases have been reported, bringing the total number to 5,893. Two more Albertans have died.
Cases have been identified in all zones across the province:
3,957 cases in the Calgary zone
1,094 cases in the South zone
502 cases in the Edmonton zone
221 cases in the North zone
89 cases in the Central zone
30 cases in zones yet to be confirmed
Of these cases, there are currently 87 people in hospital, 20 of whom have been admitted to intensive care units (ICU).
728 cases are suspected of being community acquired.
The total deaths are 106: 72 in the Calgary zone; 15 in the North zone; 12 in the Edmonton zone; six in the South zone; and one in the Central zone.
To date, 622 cases have been confirmed at continuing care facilities, and 77 residents at these facilities have died.
There have been 949 cases in workers from the Cargill meat processing plant in High River, with 810 recovered.
There have been 487 cases in workers from JBS Foods Canada in Brooks, with 394 recovered.
Thirty-six cases have been identified at Harmony Beef since March. Alberta Health Services (AHS) is working closely with the plant to limit the spread.
Updated information on outbreak locations in Alberta is available online.
There have been 157,137 people tested for COVID-19 and a total of 167,015 tests performed by the lab. In the last 24 hours, 2,293 tests have been completed.
New equipment to double COVID-19 testing capacity
New virus detecting equipment and technology will increase COVID-19 testing from 7,000 to 16,000 tests per day once equipment is delivered, more than doubling Alberta’s maximum capacity for testing by June. Read the news release.
Ministerial orders to help protect Albertans
The Minister of Health has signed orders to protect Albertans and help prevent the spread of COVID-19:
An order that allows for individual COVID-19 test results to be provided to police if an individual has deliberately put an officer at risk by coughing, sneezing or spitting on the officer.
An order to expand the number of health-care practitioners who are able to assist in contact tracing. Chiropractors, paramedics, respiratory therapists, physiotherapists, psychiatric nurses, LPNs, pharmacists and dental hygienists will now be allowed to perform contact tracing duties after completing training.
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.
Since its launch, the app has attracted more than 124,050 registered users.
Mental health supports
Mental Health Week is May 4 to 10, an opportunity to promote positive mental health for everyone. The Canadian Mental Health Association has a variety of resources available at mentalhealthweek.ca.
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 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 for in-person Emergency Protection Order (EPO) applications for those fleeing family violence has been 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 cleaning 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.
Any individual exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, including cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat or shortness of breath, is eligible for testing. People can access testing by completing 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.
All Albertans need to work together to overcome COVID-19. 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 5, 2020 @5:05 PM