Provincial Press Release March 18, 2020 @ 4:30pm
Twenty-two additional cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 119. Aggressive public health measures continue in order to help limit the spread of COVID-19.
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.
Latest updates Cases have been identified in all zones across the province:
83 cases in the Calgary zone
27 cases in the Edmonton zone
Four cases in the North zone
Three cases in the Central zone
Two cases in the South zone
Of these cases, six are currently hospitalized, with three admitted to intensive care units (ICU). Aggregate data, showing cases by age range and zone, as well as by local geographical areas, is available online at alberta.ca/covid19.
Multiple cases of COVID-19 have been reported from attendees at the Pacific Dental Conference held in Vancouver March 5 to 7. Individuals who attended the conference should self-isolate immediately for 14 days from the conclusion of the conference. Individuals who attended the conference and who currently have symptoms should stay home, self-isolate and call Health Link at 811 to arrange for testing and further instructions.
Do not go to the hospital or your doctor for all non-urgent scheduled and elective surgeries in Alberta are being postponed. Alberta Health Services will be contacting Albertans scheduled for procedures and will reschedule as soon as possible. Urgent and emergency surgery, as well as oncology and scheduled caesarean (C-section) procedures will continue. All non-emergency dental treatment and services are also suspended at this time. Emergency dental treatment will continue.
A tip sheet on social distancing is available to help Albertans understand ways to minimize close contact with others in community settings. Mass gathering limitations and restrictions around public recreation and private entertainment facilities remain in place across the province.
Effective March 23, and until further notice, all Alberta Transportation Safety Board hearings will be held by telephone or video link. There will be no in-person hearings. Albertans who are currently scheduled for an upcoming hearing will be contacted about how their hearing will proceed. Effective March 18, all ski hills, including passenger ropeways like gondolas and chairlifts, are closed until further notice under the Safety Codes Act.
Parks and recreation areas Alberta Parks sites remain accessible, but the public is prohibited from using facilities within the parks. This includes toilets, picnic areas and park warm-up shelters. This is consistent with national parks. While using the parks, Albertans are reminded to practice appropriate social distancing: https://albertaparks.ca/albertaparksca/news-events/alberta-environment-and-parks-response-to-covid-19/. Backcountry and Kananaskis enthusiasts are strongly encouraged to choose activities that are low-risk during the COVID-19 response and to stay in areas that support emergency access and present minimal challenges and/or hazards.
Backcountry assistance has the potential to add unnecessary stress to the health-care system and put public safety staff at risk (including exposure to COVID-19) which could then impact resources to support search and rescue.
Service Alberta front counter closures Service Alberta has temporarily closed front counter, in-person access for some services in Edmonton and Calgary. Services remain operational and available, but Albertans should not visit the physical locations for Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service, Corporate Registry and Land Titles, Consumer Investigations & Programs, and Surplus Sales. Call 310-0000 or visit alberta.ca for more information.
Information for travellers Travel outside the country is strongly discouraged. Given the rapid global spread of the virus, it is no longer possible to assess health risks for the duration of the trip. Any traveller returning from outside of the country should self-isolate for 14 days, even if they are feeling well, and monitor for symptoms. Any traveller who has returned before March 12 should closely monitor themselves for symptoms. If they experience symptoms, they should self-isolate immediately and call Health Link 811 for follow-up assessment and testing. The Alberta government and Travel Alberta have launched a campaign to inform Canadians travelling in the United States and Mexico about the importance of returning home. COVID-19-related information has been provided for departing and returning passengers at the international airports in both Edmonton and Calgary. This information has also been shared with all airports in Alberta and several airlines.
Quick facts The most important measures that Albertans can take to prevent respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, is to practise good hygiene.