What you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Tuesday, Oct. 13

The latest:

  • Alberta reported 277 new cases Friday and one new death. Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’ s chief medical officer of health, will announce the latest infection numbers at her next scheduled update today at 3 p.m.
  • In the biggest active outbreak in Alberta, at Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary, 11 people have died and 86 have tested positive for COVID-19. The latest death makes the outbreak as deadly as the Misericordia outbreak in Edmonton over the summer.
  • Outbreaks of COVID-19 have been declared in two units at the Misericordia Community Hospital in west Edmonton, Alberta Health Services said Thursday.
  • Eight patients and two health-care workers have tested positive, AHS said in a news release. Another 29 health-care workers are in isolation.
  • Alberta’s chief medical officer of health unveiled additional voluntary measures designed to slow the surge of COVID-19 cases in Edmonton.
  • Another 277 COVID-19 cases were reported on Friday in Alberta, down from 364 on Thursday. Thursday’s case count represented the highest new case count ever.
  • That brings the province to a total of 2,225 active cases, up 128 from the previous day. At the peak in late April, there were nearly 3,000 active cases in the province. 
  • As of Friday, there were 76 schools with outbreaks (of the more than 2,400 schools across the province) including 14 on the “watch” list, meaning they have five or more cases.
  • Doctors and governments say the COVID-19 pandemic makes it more important than ever to get the flu shot. The influenza vaccine won’t be available to the general public in Alberta until Oct. 19, but pharmacies say appointments to get the shot in the first two weeks are filling up fast.

What you need to know today in Alberta:

The province introduced new voluntary measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Edmonton on Friday as the province surged past the all-time high of new cases, with 364 new cases of COVID-19 and two more deaths reported Thursday.

When COVID-19 arrived in Alberta, the pandemic brought with it a jump in domestic violence calls. From mid-March to mid-September, RCMP in Alberta recorded a 12 per cent rise in calls involving domestic violence over the previous year.

And yet many women’s shelters, where victims often go to seek refuge, have remained empty due to fear of contracting the virus in a communal setting, a CBC News investigation found.

A total of 86 people are in hospital, and 11 are in intensive care, as of Friday. Labs have now performed 1,498,064 tests on 1,110,134 Albertans. 

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

  • Edmonton zone: 1,329 cases, up by 79 from Thursday.
  • Calgary zone: 628 cases, up by 24.
  • North zone: 105 cases, up by 8.
  • South zone: 102 cases, down by 10.
  • Central zone: 50 cases, up by 11.
  • Unknown: 11 cases, down by 3.


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

A snapshot of the active cases by district in Calgary as of Oct. 9. (CBC)

What you need to know today in Canada:

As of 7 a.m. ET on Tuesday, Canada had 182,839 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 154,258 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 9,627.

A new report says COVID-19 has widened the gap between the haves and have-nots in Canada, amplifying the economic disparities that existed pre-pandemic.

The affordability index by BDO Canada Ltd. found that while one in five Canadians say they are better off, nearly two in five say their personal finances deteriorated during the first wave.

Canadians seeking to access new financial support after missing work because of COVID-19 appeared to briefly run into technical glitches as applications opened for the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) on Monday.

Applications for the new benefit, which will pay $500 per week for up to 26 weeks, can be made through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The benefit is open to those who don’t qualify for EI because they never paid into it or don’t have enough hours.

On Monday morning, some people reported having trouble applying through the Government of Canada website.

Applications also opened last week for a new caregiver benefit, after numerous calls since the start of the pandemic for added support for parents and others who are forced to miss work to care for a dependent due to COVID-19.

The caregiver benefit applies to people who miss work because of school or daycare closures, and whose children who miss school or daycare because they have contracted the virus or may have been exposed.

It also applies to people forced to miss work to care for family members who need specialized care that is unavailable to them due to COVID-19.

The federal government anticipates 700,000 Canadians will apply for the caregiver benefit.

The government has also created a new sick-leave benefit that pays up to $1,000 over two weeks to people who can’t work because they contracted COVID-19 or must self-isolate because of the virus.

Self-assessment and supports:

Alberta Health Services has an online self-assessment tool that you can use to determine if you have symptoms of COVID-19, but testing is open to anyone, even without symptoms. 

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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