Alberta announces 33 new COVID-19 cases, climbing to 259 total

Alberta added 33 to its tally of COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the province’s total to 259. 

According to updated data on Alberta Health Services’s website, 26,999 tests have been administered.

There has been one Alberta fatality linked to COVID-19 in the province thus far — an Alberta man in his 60s died on March 18, less than one week after being admitted to a hospital intensive care unit.

Three people in the province have recovered from the virus. 

In its Saturday update, the province revealed that one of the confirmed cases is in a seniors’ residence. Officials have said many of the cases are related to travel. All travellers returning to Canada must self-isolate for 14 days and monitor themselves for symptoms.

The province has been giving near daily updates on the spread of the virus across the province since early March. Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, has been the regular spokesperson, but took the weekend off to spend time with family.

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw updates media on the COVID-19 situation in the province during a briefing in Edmonton on Friday, March 20. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press)

With schools and many child-care centres closed, the province is set to re-open select facilities to care for the children of healthcare and critical infrastructure workers. Remaining spaces will go to children of first responders, such as police and firefighters. Parents who are eligible will be notified by their employers. 

On March 17, Premier Jason Kenney declared a public health emergency, enacting strict restrictions on public gatherings. Albertans have since been asked to observe social distancing practices.

Albertans are prohibited from attending events with over 50 people, such as recreation centres and casinos. Grocery stores remain open, as do restaurants and cafes — but their capacity cannot exceed 50 people. Bars that don’t allow minors as well as nightclubs and casinos are closed. Take-out, delivery and drive-through service is still permitted.

The cities of Edmonton, Calgary, and Red Deer have all declared local states of emergency.

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