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What you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Thursday, March 19


The latest:

  • Calgary police are moving more services online, including information checks, and have new protocols for visiting a station in person. More information can be found here
  • Teachers at Calgary’s two biggest school boards have been told they can now work from home
  • Those with a scheduled mammogram screening are being advised to delay their appointments until at least May 1.
  • Backcountry users are being urged to keep their risks to a minimum in order to avoid stressing the medical and search and rescue systems. 
  • Calgary Transit users will be asked to board buses from the back door starting on Friday.
  • Edmonton is looking at property tax deferals to help cushion the economic blow. 
  • On Wednesday afternoon, the province warned Alberta might not see the peak of the current outbreak for weeks.
  • There were 22 new confirmed cases reported on Thursday, bringing Alberta’s total to 119.
  • Utility companies have agreed not to disconnect any customers for three months. Consumers can defer electricity and natural gas bill payments for up to 90 days.

What you need to know today: In Alberta

The timeline for the outbreak could be longer than many assume and the province said drastic measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 may be needed until the end of May. 

Though concerned about the availability of ventilators in Canada, Dr. Samir Gupta is encouraged by the first COVID-19 vaccine trials. 5:45

Jason Kenney also warned Albertans on Wednesday to prepare for economic hardship unseen since the 1930s

Those hoping to take comfort from the stress of the outbreak will have to find an option that does not involve adopting a pet, as shelters across the province close their doors

Fearing a potential shortage of ventilators, one rural Canadian doctor has rigged up a fix. 2:04

Cases have been identified in all zones of 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

What you need to know today: In Canada

Details on the federal government’s plan to send money to affected Canadians continues to be released, with funds expected to flow on April 1. 

Details on who qualifies and how to access the funds can be found here

You might choose to self-isolate at home if you’ve been exposed, or think you’ve been exposed, to COVID-19. Ellen Mauro explains what to do. 1:50

As of 8 p.m. ET Wednesday, there were 727 presumptive and confirmed cases in Canada, with nine deaths and 11 listed as recovered.

Presumptive cases are individuals who have tested positive, but still await confirmation with the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg. Not all provinces are listing figures on those who have recovered.

  • Ontario: 214 cases, including five listed by the province as resolved and one death.
  • British Columbia: 231 confirmed cases, including five recovered and seven deaths.
  • Alberta: 119 confirmed cases.
  • Quebec: 94 confirmed cases, including one recovered and one death.
  • Saskatchewan: 16 confirmed and presumptive cases.
  • New Brunswick: Two confirmed and nine presumptive cases.
  • Manitoba: 17 confirmed and presumptive cases. 
  • Nova Scotia: Three confirmed and nine presumptive cases.
  • Prince Edward Island: One confirmed case.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: Three presumptive cases.
  • Repatriated Canadians: Nine confirmed cases.

Self-assessment

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 have developed symptoms within 14 days of returning from travel outside Canada, or who have had contact with someone diagnosed with the illness.

You play a role in how effectively the virus moves from person to person, says family physician Dr. Peter Lin. 0:48

The province “strongly requests” that Albertans who have returned to Canada after March 12 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.

You can find Alberta Health Services’ latest coronavirus updates here.


What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common symptoms include:

  • Fever.
  • Cough.
  • Tiredness.

But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia, which can lead to death.

What should I do if I feel sick?

Isolate yourself and call your local public health authority. Do not visit an emergency room or urgent care centre to get tested.

How can I protect myself?

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Be aware of evolving travel advisories to different regions.

More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government’s website.

Important reminder: The World Health Organization said more than 80 per cent of COVID-19 infections are estimated to be mild.

  • Have you got a news tip tied to the COVID-19 outbreak? You can reach CBC Calgary at calgarynewstips@cbc.ca or CBC Edmonton here





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