September 17, 2020 Provincial COVID-19 news update (video)
Provincial Press Release September 17, 2020 @ 4:17PM published at 4:45 PM
Currently, 41 people are in hospital due to COVID-19, eight of whom are in intensive care – well below hospital capacity.
There are currently 1,483 active cases.
146 new cases were identified and 13,003 tests were completed in the last 24 hours.
Alberta labs have now performed 1,169,378 tests on 902,148 Albertans.
There were no deaths in the last 24 hours.
To date, AHS has confirmed 64 individuals with COVID-19 were present at schools while infectious. Currently, 40 out of 2,415 schools in the province have reported an infectious case that attended the school.
A new school outbreak (two to four cases) has been reported at Chris Akkerman School in Calgary. There are currently 10 school outbreaks, including one school under watch, in Alberta.
Currently, the identified cases have come from community transmission, not transmission within the schools.
As of today, all zones across the province have cases:
Calgary zone: 470 active cases and 7,685 recovered
South zone: 38 active cases and 1,732 recovered
Edmonton zone: 751 active cases and 3,415 recovered
North zone: 193 active cases and 1,058 recovered
Central zone: 29 active cases and 613 recovered
Two active cases and 34 recovered cases in zones to be confirmed
Additional information, including case totals, is online.
There are 44 active cases and 1,057 recovered cases at continuing care facilities; 163 facility residents have died.
In total, 14,537 Albertans have now recovered from COVID-19.
Targeted voluntary asymptomatic testing
Alberta is shifting to targeted COVID-19 testing to reduce testing wait times, speed up access to results and support Albertans during influenza season and the winter months.
Any Albertan with symptoms, is a close contact of a confirmed case or linked to an outbreak will continue to be tested as usual.
Voluntary asymptomatic testing will continue to be offered for priority groups that are most at risk of spreading COVID-19 to vulnerable or at-risk populations. This includes:
school teachers and staff
residents and staff in congregate settings
Albertans experiencing homelessness
travellers who require testing prior to departure
Voluntary asymptomatic testing is no longer recommended for other Albertans who have no symptoms and no suspected exposure to COVID-19.
Any Albertan who has no symptoms but has already booked a test will still be able to get tested.
School health measures
Alberta’s online map lists every school where there are two or more confirmed cases and an outbreak is declared. The map is updated Monday to Friday, on school days, and will also list schools that have shifted into scenario 2 or 3 to protect the health of students and staff.
Work is underway to expand the map to include all schools where one confirmed case has been identified and alerts have been issued.
Masks are mandatory for Grade 4 to 12 students and all school staff in all settings where distancing isn’t possible.
Government has distributed more than 1.6 million reusable masks, two each to 740,000 students and 90,000 staff.
A re-entry tool kit is available for parents and students.
Health officials will monitor and update the guidance for schools based on the best evidence.
Accessing COVID-19 test results
Albertans can receive their COVID-19 test results from AHS through an SMS text message or an automated phone call.
Individuals who book a COVID-19 test through ahs.ca/covid or drop in for testing at an AHS assessment centre can now choose to get their results through these methods. Anyone who does not consent to receiving results via text message or through an automated phone call will instead receive their results through a call from an AHS team member.
MyHealth Records quick access
Albertans age 14 and up can access the MyHealth Records (MHR) tool immediately after signing up without waiting for mail-out verification.
Users can see their COVID-19 test results as soon as they are ready.
More than 250,000 Albertans have MHR accounts.
Risk assessment tool
The online risk assessment tool can help people identify if they are at high risk of having a severe outcome. The tool also provides information on how to mitigate that risk.
Albertans downloading tracer app
Currently, 241,733 Albertans are using the ABTraceTogether app. Secure contact tracing is a cornerstone of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy.
A fix is being developed so the Alberta app can run in the background of locked iPhones.
Canada is moving to a national tracing app. Until it is available here, we encourage Albertans to use ABTraceTogether.
Starting Sept. 17, continuing care facilities and hospices will have more flexibility with isolation requirements, recreation, dining and volunteers.
This new risk-based approach will increase flexibility when risk is low without reducing the overall protections in place.
Access to justice
Alberta’s courts have made a variety of changes to ensure Albertans have access to justice while maintaining physical-distancing guidelines. For the latest updates on court operations, please visit:
Court of Queen’s Bench
Court of Appeal
Alberta’s Recovery Plan
Alberta’s Recovery Plan will create jobs, economic diversification and a strong economic future.
Supporting Alberta businesses through relaunch
The Alberta Biz Connect web page has health and safety guidelines for general workplaces and specific industry sectors. Check online for new and updated guidance documents.
Businesses may complete an online template to plan how to protect employees and patrons.
Addiction and mental health supports
Confidential supports are available. 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, or follow the steps in the Emergency Protection Orders Telephone Applications (COVID-19).
Information sheets and other resources on family violence prevention are at alberta.ca/COVID19.
Legal requirements for physical distancing and isolating when sick or showing symptoms are still in effect, and all Albertans must adhere to these restrictions.
Good hygiene is your best protection: wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face, cough or sneeze into an elbow or sleeve, and dispose of tissues appropriately.
Albertans are asked to share acts of kindness during this difficult time at #AlbertaCares.
Alberta Connects Contact Centre (310-4455) is open Monday to Friday, 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.