Alberta now has 7 coronavirus cases, Alberta Health says

Almost 1,000 people in Alberta were tested for COVID-19 over the weekend, with 700 of those tests performed on Sunday alone, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health said Monday.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw provided details on the province’s fifth, sixth and seventh cases of the novel coronavirus at a press conference in Edmonton.

The patients include:

  • A woman in her 70s who lives in the Edmonton zone and is a close contact of an Edmonton-zone man with COVID-19 whose case was announced on Sunday. Like the man, the woman was on-board the Grand Princess cruise ship before returning home on Feb. 21. Her symptoms started after she got home to Alberta.
  • A man in his 30s from the Calgary zone who is a close contact of the Calgary-zone woman announced as a case of COVID-19 on March 8. The man had travelled to Ukraine, the Netherlands and Turkey. He returned to Alberta on March 2. His symptoms started after his return.
  • A woman in her 50s from the Calgary zone who was aboard the MS Braemar cruise ship from Feb. 11 to March 4. She developed symptoms after getting home and was tested on Sunday.

All seven Alberta cases have been confirmed, Hinshaw said. 

“Together we can protect each other and keep our communities healthy,” Hinshaw said at the news conference.

Canada recorded its first COVID-19 death on Monday. A male resident of the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver died.

Between Friday and Sunday, Health Link, the province’s dedicated phone line for health inquiries, managed more than 1,900 calls relating to COVID-19 resulting in high wait times, the province said Monday. 

“We will continue taking steps to manage wait times,” Alberta Health spokesperson Tom McMillan said in an email.

Health Link is now training additional clinical staff to help provide dedicated additional COVID-19 support, he added. 

On Sunday, Hinshaw announced the province’s third and fourth COVID-19 cases — a man in his 60s from the Edmonton zone, and a woman in her 30s from the Calgary zone who is a close contact of someone who had recently travelled in Europe.

Alberta’s first case — a Calgary woman in her 50s — was reported on Thursday. The second case, a man in his 40s who lives in the Edmonton zone, was reported on Friday.

All of the first four Alberta cases were travel-related, Hinshaw said Sunday. Three of the four patients are connected to the Grand Princess cruise ship.

As of Sunday, three of the four cases were presumptive and one had been confirmed. All of the first four patients have been isolated.

People concerned about recent travel and have symptoms of fever and cough are urged to use Health Link and not go to emergency departments.

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