Number of cases of coronavirus in Alberta grows to 29, all travel-related

The number of coronavirus cases in Alberta has grown by six to 29, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced Friday.

All cases are travel-related, he said.

Kenney was attending the daily news conference usually hosted by Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw.

From cancelling events to restrictions on public gatherings, the situation in Alberta has changed dramatically since the province’s first case was confirmed on March 5. 

Dr. Deena Hinshaw ​​​​​​has been holding daily news conferences to keep the public aware of the spread of the virus and any new government health directives intended to protect the public from the pandemic. 

CBC News will livestream Friday’s news conference, set to begin at 4 p.m. MT. 

‘A window of opportunity’

Four new cases of COVID-19 were announced in the Calgary zone on Thursday — bringing the province’s total to 23 confirmed cases.

The Calgary zone now has 15 cases, while the Edmonton zone has seven and the central zone, one. All cases are travel-related.

According to an update on the Alberta government website Friday, 4,265 Albertans have tested negative. 

Hinshaw said Alberta must adopt aggressive new measures to limit the spread of the virus. She urged Albertans not to travel outside Canada. In her news conference Thursday, Hinshaw recommended all public gatherings of more than 250 people be cancelled.

Those outside the country right now are asked to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return.

“There is a window of opportunity for Alberta to slow the spread of the virus and thereby protect the health of Albertans,” Hinshaw said Thursday.

“These are extraordinary circumstances and our public health measures must rise to the challenge we face.”

Hinshaw also urged the cancellation of any event with more than 50 attendees that include international participants or other high-risk groups like seniors.

The recommendation to cancel big events does not extend to places of worship, grocery stores, airports or shopping centres.

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