What you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Monday, Oct. 19

The latest:

  • The latest infection figures from Saturday and Sunday will be released today at 3:30 p.m.
  • Alberta reported 332 new cases of the disease on Friday, but no additional deaths. 
  • Calgary was moved onto the watch list as it currently has 686 active cases, which is 50.9 per 100,000 people.
  • A new outbreak was reported at Calgary’s Rose and Crown Pub Friday, with six active cases and one recovered case linked.
  • An outbreak was also declared related to an informal Calgary social event “featuring a large number of Calgarians.” Forty-two cases are linked to this outbreak.
  • The total active cases in the biggest active outbreak in Alberta, at Foothills Medical Centre, is now 89 as of Saturday. Eleven people have died. The hospital says it still has no conclusive proof how the outbreaks started.
  • Three cardiology patients at the University of Alberta Hospital’s Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Health officials are keeping a close eye on hospital capacity as Alberta’s COVID-19 cases continue to surge, driving hospitalization numbers to a new high.
  • There are 117 people in hospital as of Friday, 11 of whom are in intensive care.
  • Alberta reported 332 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the total active cases to 2,836, up 98 from the previous day.
  • The province has now completed 1,598,145 COVID-19 tests, with 14,155 completed on Thursday.
  • The bulk of the cases continue to be in Edmonton, which now has 1,525 active cases. 
  • The total deaths in Alberta from COVID-19 remains at 288.
  • Ninety-one schools now have outbreaks, 22 of which are in the watch category because there are five or more cases. Sixty-one schools have had in-school transmission.
  • The Calgary Catholic School District said Thursday that there are 35 positive cases in its schools, resulting in 935 students and 88 staff members in self-isolation for 14 days. “This is a significant increase from last week,” the board said.

What you need to know today in Alberta:

COVID-19 cases are rising in Alberta, and there are concerns that difficulties involved in contact tracing — both manual and digital — could hamper the province’s ability to slow the spread. 

Of the 1,812 new cases reported in Alberta last week, 772 (43 per cent) have an unknown source. There are now 2,836 active cases in the province, 1,054 (37 per cent) from an unknown source. 

The City of Calgary was moved onto the province’s watch list Friday, as it currently has 686 active cases, which is 50.9 per 100,000 people.

“At this time, I am not recommending any additional measures for Calgary. But we are working with local partners to monitor the situation closely,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, said Friday.

According to Hinshaw, Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings, including a private gathering linked to 42 active cases, all of which are active. The informal social event featured “a large number of Calgarians,” according to AHS.

Designated spectator seating at city recreation centres, like arenas, will operate at 25 per cent capacity (up to 50 spectators, or 100 in larger arenas). There will be no spectator access in arenas without designated seating.

Dr. Peter Jamieson, the medical director for the Foothills Medical Centre, said there’s still an active investigation into the outbreaks at the Calgary hospital that have so far claimed 11 lives, infected 89 others and sent hundreds of health-care workers into isolation.

Alberta Health Services confirmed last week that three cardiology patients at the University of Alberta Hospital’s Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute in Edmonton had tested positive for COVID-19.

AHS said there was no connection between the Mazankowski and Foothills outbreaks.

Starting Monday, the annual flu shot is available in pharmacies and doctor’s offices across Alberta. All Albertas aged six months and up are eligible to be immunized for free. Health officials have said this year it is more important than ever to get the flu shot because of the pandemic. 

(CBC)

An independent committee is calling for Edmonton city councillors and the mayor to freeze their salaries for the next two years as the city navigates the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here’s the regional breakdown of active cases reported on Friday:

  • Edmonton zone: 1,525 cases, up 28 from Thursday.
  • Calgary zone:  820 cases, up 32.
  • North zone:  145 cases, up 15.
  • South zone: 202 cases, up 11.
  • Central zone: 132 cases, up 16.
  • Unknown: 12 cases, down 4.

A snapshot of the active cases by district in Calgary as of Oct. 13. (CBC)

Find out which neighbourhoods or communities have the most cases, how hard people of different ages have been hit, the ages of people in hospital, how Alberta compares to other provinces and more in: Here are the latest COVID-19 statistics for Alberta — and what they mean

What you need to know today in Canada:

As of 7 a.m. ET on Monday, Canada had 198,148 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 167,112 of those as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 9,760.

With Canada on the cusp of 200,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, new restrictions are taking effect Monday in parts of Ontario and Manitoba in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The Ontario government announced Friday that York Region would be joining three other COVID-19 hot spots in the province in moving back to a modified Stage 2 of pandemic protocol.

Meanwhile, the Northwest Territories said three people have received presumptive positive test results for the virus.

Newfoundland and Labrador also reported three new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Friday related to travel.

Health-care providers in multiple provinces are struggling to keep up with demand for the flu vaccine, as Canadians hope to fend off a “twindemic” of influenza and COVID-19.

Self-assessment and supports:

With winter cold and influenza season approaching, Alberta Health Services will prioritize Albertans for testing who have symptoms, and those groups which are at higher risk of getting or spreading the virus.

General asymptotic testing is no longer available to anyone, but voluntary asymptomatic testing is available to:

  • school teachers and staff.
  • health-care workers.
  • staff and residents at long-term care and congregate living facilities.
  • any Albertans experiencing homelessness.
  • travellers requiring a test before departure.

Additional groups can also access asymptomatic testing if required.

The province says Albertans who have returned to Canada from other countries must self-isolate. 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 at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms, until the symptoms have disappeared. 

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

The province also operates a confidential mental health support line at 1-877-303-2642 and addiction help line at 1-866-332-2322, both available 24 hours a day. 

Online resources are available for advice on handling stressful situations and ways to talk with children.

There is a 24-hour family violence information line at 310-1818 to get anonymous help in more than 170 languages, and Alberta’s One Line for Sexual Violence is available at 1-866-403-8000, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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