What you need to know today in Alberta:
There are now 10 people in intensive care units due to COVID-19 and Alberta’s chief medical officer of health says we need to take action so hospitals are not overwhelmed.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw said the system is working for now, but there are 33 cases where the source of infection is not known and that could mean further community spread.
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It’s one of the reasons Calgary is looking at shutting down lanes on some roads in order to free up space for those getting outside. Currently, there are bottlenecks on the pathway system that do not allow for appropriate physical distancing.
And as the number of cases rises in a southeast Calgary senior home, some organizations are taking steps to help those most vulnerable to the virus.
As of Thursday, the majority of the cases in Alberta are located in the Calgary zone. By region, the number of cases:
- Calgary zone: 300.
- Edmonton zone: 111.
- Central zone: 37.
- North zone: 26.
- South zone: 12.
What you need to know today in Canada:
The financial cost of the pandemic is still not known, but a report from the Parliamentary Budget Office gives the first hint of the magnitude, saying the deficit this year could be $89.5 billion higher than expected at $112.7 billion.
Also on Friday, the Bank of Canada once again cut its target for the overnight rate, lowering it 50 basis points to 0.25 per cent. It’s the second unscheduled cut in two weeks.
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Canada’s chief public health officer said that to date, 6.1 per cent of cases in Canada require hospitalization, 2.6 per cent of cases fall critically ill and require ICU care, and one per cent of cases prove fatal.
As of 6:30 a.m. ET on Friday, Canada had a total of 4,043 confirmed and presumptive cases, with 39 deaths. To date, provinces have listed 228 cases as recovered or resolved. (Not all provinces are listing that information.)
There has also been one reported COVID-19 related death of a Canadian abroad when a former passenger of the Diamond Princess cruise ship died in Japan.
Alberta Health Services has an online self-assessment tool that you can use to determine if you have symptoms of COVID-19.
Testing is focused on individuals who are most at risk from the virus, or those most at risk of passing it on to others.
WATCH | What to do if you’re self-isolating at home for COVID-19:
The province says Albertans who have returned to Canada after March 12 must self-isolate for 14 days. Unless your situation is critical and requires a call to 911, Albertans are advised to call Health Link at 811 before visiting a physician, hospital or other health-care facility.
If you have symptoms, even mild, you are to self-isolate for 10 days, from the onset of symptoms, or longer if the illness persists.