by Morinville News Staff
Alberta saw confirmed cases of COVID-19 rise by 42 in the last 24 hours to 301 in the province, the majority of those (63%) still being in the Calgary Zone.
There are currently 18 hospitalized with COVID-19, seven of those in Intensive Care Units (ICU). There is no change in that situation since yesterday.
Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw, in her daily update, said the number of recovered patients remains at three. There has been no change in that number since Friday, although the province said Sunday a longer-term process for determining timely reporting of recovered cases is underway.
Hinshaw said she believes more than 20 of the province’s 301 cases were acquired in the community as opposed to being travel related.
As reported Saturday, one of the province’s current cases is in a nursing home; however, Alberta Health is not identifying which home that is. That number has not changed at this time.
To date, there has only been one death related to the illness, a man in his 60s from the Edmonton Zone with underlying medical conditions.
The government has confirmed that a bonspiel eventheld in Edmonton March 11 to 14 exposed some physicians to COVID-19. Eleven of the 47 Alberta health-care workers who attended the event, many of those physicians, have now tested positive for COVID-19.
Some of those individuals worked early last week before notification came through of the case associated with the event. The government says all contacts are being notified as per usual local public health follow-up. The province says more information will be communicated as details are confirmed.
Alberta Health’s geographical data shows there are currently four cases of COVID-19 in Sturgeon County West, which includes Bon Accord and Morinville, as well as surrounding rural areas. That number is the same since Saturday, which was one less than Friday.
COPING WITH CRISIS
Hinshaw said while she appreciates the need for sunshine and encourages going for walks, she emphasized the need for social distancing.
“It is important to remember we are all in this together. This means now more than ever keeping a physical distance and finding creative ways to maintain our bonds.”
The Chief Medical Officer also announced that Albertans can text COVID19HOPE to 393939 to subscribe to receive daily messages on healthy thinking or actions to help manage their mood.
Hinshaw said the human need for social connection is great and that Albertans need to practice physical distancing but maintain important social connections in other ways.
In response to a question from the Calgary Sun, Dr. Hinshaw said information was on the province’s website advising Albertans how to report businesses not following rules.
“There is a link on our website that lets Albertans know how to get hold of them [Health Inspectors],” Hinshaw said, adding she was not sure about pro-active COVID-19 order inspections.
HIGH AMOUNT OF TESTING
Hinshaw said the lab is able to do 3,000 tests per day and have been able to do so because of a single health care delivery process in Alberta as well as pooling of equipment across the province. Alberta’s testing is still the highest of any North American jurisdiction. Equipment is running 24 hours a day, seven days per week.
“It is really a triumph of collective effort,” Hinshaw said.
The government announced earlier today a change in testing. You can read the full details here.
Up-to-the-minute information on COVID-19 in Alberta is available at https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx?.