What you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Tuesday, Sept. 15

The latest:

  • The province reported 418 new cases over the weekend, bringing its active case tally to 1,538, up 94 from Friday’s total of 1,444.
  • A total of 37 people are being treated in hospital, seven are in intensive care, and one more person has died — a woman in her 70s in Edmonton.
  • Seven Alberta schools had reported outbreaks as of Monday: Notre Dame High School in northeast Calgary, Ross Sheppard High School in west Edmonton, Henry Wise Wood High School in southwest Calgary, St. Wilfrid Elementary in northeast Calgary, Auburn Bay School in southeast Calgary, Lester B. Pearson High School in northeast Calgary and Chinook School in Lethbridge.
  • There have been 42 cases present at 35 schools while infectious, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province’s chief medical officer of health, said Monday.
  • The province announced the launch of an online map to help parents track COVID-19 outbreaks in schools across the province. Hinshaw said it will be updated each afternoon with information validated in the morning.
  • A new record was set over the weekend, with close to 19,000 tests on Saturday. Hinshaw said additional staff were brought in to deal with the increase.

What you need to know today in Alberta:

Masks will continue to remain mandatory in Calgary’s public spaces, council decided Monday. Council voted 11-3 to maintain the current bylaw as is, with the next update to be heard on Dec. 14.

Alberta has adopted a “very cautious” approach to reporting COVID-19 outbreaks in schools, and has so far not found a single case that was transmitted within a school setting, Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Monday.

As the school year progresses and health officials learn more about how the novel coronavirus spreads, guidelines for self-isolation may be loosened or otherwise changed, she said.

As of Monday, 35 Alberta schools have reported COVID-19 cases, with a total of 42 cases.

newly launched online map will list every school with an outbreak, which is defined as two or more cases at the same school within 14 days. It will be updated in the afternoon with information validated in the morning, and if an outbreak is declared later that day, the map won’t be updated until the following afternoon.

Meantime, nearly a year and a half after forming government, the United Conservative Party (UCP) finds itself in unfamiliar territory — tied with Alberta’s NDP Opposition, according to a recent poll.

(CBC)

The government has found itself juggling precarious back-to-school plans, a still unstable economic recovery and a protracted dispute with Alberta’s doctors. 

Among issues surveyed, 56 per cent of Albertans think their provincial government has done a “good job” handling COVID-19. That compares with 77 per cent of Canadians in other provinces.

CBC News is following four families as they navigate the return to school in the midst of the global pandemic, tracing how the reopening impacts them before and during the return. Here’s the second installment: The first week back.

CBC Calgary also wants to hear from Alberta’s parents, students and teachers in regards to how the process has gone so far.

The Calgary Board of Education released a how-to guide on what back to school will look like. Here’s a look from elementary to high school. 2:46

Here’s the regional breakdown of active cases reported on Monday.

  • Calgary zone: 557, down from 560 on Friday.
  • Edmonton zone: 654, up from 580.
  • North zone: 232, up from 213.
  • Central zone: 49, up from 45.
  • South zone: 38, unchanged.
  • Unknown: 8, unchanged.

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

(CBC)

What you need to know today in Canada:

As of 5 a.m. ET on Tuesday, Canada had 138,010 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 121,224 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 9,221.

An uptick in COVID-19 cases across the country in the last 10 days has prompted many public health officials to remind Canadians to be on high alert and follow set guidelines to limit the spread. 

The steady increase in new cases of COVID-19 in Canada’s most populated provinces is a concerning trend, according to the country’s chief public health officer, as hospitals work to keep intensive care admissions manageable.

Dr. Theresa Tam said in a statement Monday that an average of 618 new cases have been reported daily in the last seven days, particularly in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia — 20 per cent higher than the previous week.

Ontario’s COVID-19 cases are rising at a rate not seen for months, upping the pressure on Premier Doug Ford’s government and public health officials to take fresh action to slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

The average number of new COVID-19 infections confirmed daily in the province has doubled in a stretch of just three weeks.

Canadian support for keeping the border closed to Americans remains strong, despite a decline in new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and a decimated tourism industry.

A new poll by pollster Research Co. found that out of 1,000 Canadians surveyed online at the end of August, a whopping 90 per cent agreed with the current Canada-U.S. border closure to non-essential traffic. 

New Brunswick’s Progressive Conservatives won re-election Monday night with a majority government for Premier Blaine Higgs, who last month called a snap election, the first provincial vote to be held during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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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