What you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Wednesday, Sept. 16

The latest:

  • Alberta reported 124 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday.
  • There were 1,491 active cases across the province, according to the latest provincial update, down 44 from the day before.
  • No new deaths were reported Tuesday. A total of 254 people have died of COVID-19 in Alberta.
  • The province announced the launch of an online map to help parents track COVID-19 outbreaks in schools across the province. Deena Hinshaw, the province’s chief medical officer of health, 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:

Another six Alberta schools have had outbreaks of two to four cases. Those schools are:

  • Notre Dame High School, Calgary.
  • Lester B. Pearson High School, Calgary.
  • Henry Wise Wood High School, Calgary.
  • Auburn Bay School, Calgary.
  • Ross Sheppard High School, Edmonton.
  • Chinook High School, Lethbridge.

St. Wilfrid Elementary School in Calgary is now listed under the “watch” category, which Alberta Health defines as an outbreak with five or more cases where the disease could have been acquired or transmitted in the school.

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.

Calgary’s public school board is working on plans to ensure that no students are penalized for falling behind due to quarantine or if they become ill, says Joanne Pitman, superintendent of school improvement.

“There may need to be certain assignments that are waived or certain assignments that are prioritized,” she said.

(CBC)

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 Fort McMurray region, which has been under a COVID-19 watch since last week, will not bring in a mandatory mask bylaw this month, after regional council opted to delay a third reading of the bylaw.

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.

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 Tuesday:

  • Calgary zone: 540, down from 557 on Tuesday.
  • Edmonton zone: 650, down from 654.
  • North zone: 223, down from 232.
  • Central zone: 36, down from 49.
  • South zone: 33, down from 38.
  • Unknown: 9, up from 8.

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 11 a.m. ET on Wednesday, Canada had 139,118 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 121,994 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 9,230.

Canada’s inflation rate was 0.1 per cent in August, Statistics Canada says, the same level it was at in July.

Economists had been expecting the figure to come in at around 0.4 per cent, but gasoline and airline tickets dragged down the overall rate. Gas prices were down by 11.1 per cent in August, compared with where they were a year ago. Prices for air travel, meanwhile, declined by 16 per cent.

Getting virtual schools off the ground this fall has proven to be a significant challenge across provinces. It’s resulted in parents feeling left in the dark, enrolment lists in flux, technical issues and teachers still being hired or reassigned as classes get underway. 

An uptick in COVID-19 cases across the country 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 past seven days, particularly in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia — 20 per cent higher than the previous week.

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, according to a new poll by pollster Research Co. 

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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