Second presumptive COVID-19 case reported in Alberta
Alberta’s chief medical officer of health has confirmed the province’s second presumptive case of novel coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19.
The individual is a male in his forties who lives in the Edmonton zone. The case is travel-related and he is recovering in isolation at home with support from public health officials.
“While I know some Albertans may be concerned by a second case, this is not unexpected. The risk to Albertans is still considered low. We have already isolated this individual and are taking swift action to implement immediate precautions to prevent the infection from spreading.”Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Chief Medical Officer of Health
“I have full confidence that our front-line health-care workers are ready and able to handle this challenge. Thanks to Alberta’s focused preparations, this case has been quickly identified and all the immediate first steps required to protect the public and our front-line health-care staff are being taken.”Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health
The affected individual recently returned from travel in the United States. He had visited Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio, before returning to Alberta on Feb 28. He is currently in isolation at home.
The case was detected on March 6. Health officials are currently identifying close contacts of this individual and will be asking them to self-isolate at home, away from the public. They will be closely monitored by public health officials. If they do develop symptoms, health officials will coordinate getting them into care immediately while ensuring that the public and health-care workers are not exposed.
Effective immediately, Alberta will be expanding its testing protocols. All travellers returning from outside of Canada are advised to monitor their symptoms. If they experience flu-related symptoms, such as a fever or a cough, they should self-isolate and call Health Link at 811 to arrange followup testing. Returning travellers should not visit emergency departments or urgent care centres for testing. Calling 811 is the best way to get quick assessment and testing.
This applies only to returning travellers who are symptomatic with fever, or cough.
The risk of exposure is still considered low in Alberta, however this may change over the coming weeks, and if it does, we will communicate this to Albertans.
Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services will continue to closely monitor the situation, conduct surveillance and appropriate laboratory testing, and provide public health and infection control guidance.
- The most important measures that Albertans can take to prevent respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, is to practise good hygiene.
- This includes cleaning your hands regularly, avoiding touching your face, coughing or sneezing into your elbow or sleeve, disposing of tissues appropriately, and staying home and away from others if you are sick.
- Anyone who has health concerns or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should contact Health Link 811 to see if followup testing is required.
- For recommendations on protecting yourself and your community, visit alberta.ca/COVID19.