Update 73: COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (May 25 at 6 p.m.)
Alberta’s COVID-19 hospitalization rates remain low with 45 people in hospital, five of whom are in intensive care. In total, 5,979 Albertans have recovered from COVID-19. Three more Albertans have died.
- 19 new cases bring the number of total active cases to 762.
- Cases have been identified in all zones across the province:
- Calgary zone: 594 active cases and 4,069 recovered
- South zone: 92 active cases and 1,133 recovered
- Edmonton zone: 52 active cases and 459 recovered
- North zone: 19 active cases and 201 recovered
- Central zone: three active cases and 95 recovered
- Two active cases and 22 recovered cases in zones to be confirmed
- Additional information, including case totals, is online.
- To date, 624 cases have an unknown exposure.
- So far, 218,740 Albertans have been tested and labs have performed 239,799 tests, with 3,010 tests completed in the last 24 hours.
- Deaths total 138: 101 in the Calgary zone; 15 in the North zone; 13 in the Edmonton zone; eight in the South zone; and one in the Central zone.
- There are 63 active cases and 648 recovered cases at continuing care facilities; 103 facility residents have died.
Update on PPE for non-AHS services
- With the PPE supply chain improving and with more companies now developing PPE, Alberta businesses have more options to source their own PPE. As a result, the Alberta government is focusing the supply of critical PPE to organizations that are at the highest risk of exposure to COVID-19. This includes hospital workers, first responders, and those working in publicly funded or contracted homeless shelters, seniors care facilities, and disability agencies.
- As of July 1, businesses and non-AHS organizations will be required to access PPE directly through suppliers.
- Groups that have already received or submitted a request for PPE from the Provincial Operations Centre or Alberta Health Services can continue accessing supplies, subject to availability and for a fee, from May 25 until June 30. Requests received and being fulfilled may be subject to fees.
- This timing will help support these groups as they transition to other PPE suppliers.
- For more information, visit the Alberta Emergency Management Agency web page.
- The PPE supply chain is improving and more companies are developing PPE. Alberta Biz Connect web page can help organizations and businesses source their own PPE supply.
Commercial tenant-landlord survey open
- A new survey will help assess the challenges that commercial tenants and landlords face.
- The survey will identify if businesses need additional support to pay rent during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- More information can be found online.
Funding announced for seniors housing
- Government is providing $26 million for 82 new capital maintenance and renewal projects for seniors housing facilities. These projects will focus on residents’ health and safety, keep units open and help build a ring of defence around seniors.
- More information can be found online.
Access to justice
- Starting in June, the Court of Queen’s Bench will hear some criminal trials in-person and via Webex video conference, beginning with cancelled trials originally scheduled between March 16 and June 26.
- More information: https://albertacourts.ca/qb/resources/announcements
Increased health services and testing now available
- Albertans now have access to more health services, including non-urgent surgeries that require hospital stays.
- Voluntary testing for asymptomatic staff and residents in long-term care and some designated supportive living facilities has begun.
- Maternity services will also resume at South Calgary Campus and High River Hospital on June 3.
- More information is available online.
Calgary, Brooks continue stage one relaunch
- Several businesses in Calgary and Brooks have begun to reopen as those cities enter the second phase of their relaunch.
- Details can be found online.
Supporting Alberta businesses through relaunch
- Stage one of Alberta’s relaunch strategy is underway.
- The Alberta Biz Connect web page has health and safety guidelines for general workplaces, and sector-specific guidelines for those able to open in stage one of relaunch. Businesses are encouraged to check the page for new and updated guidance documents.
- Businesses and locations can access a template on that web page to help them plan how to protect employees and patrons from infection.
- Completion of this template is voluntary.
- The next media availability with the chief medical officer of health will be held on May 27.
- Situation reports continue to be distributed daily.
Albertans downloading tracer app
- The ABTraceTogether app will enhance current manual contact tracing and capacity, and facilitate early detection to help reduce the spread of the virus and better protect Albertans. It means Albertans will be contacted more quickly if they are at risk.
- Use of the app is voluntary; users must opt in.
- The app does not track the user’s physical location and does not use GPS. Protecting privacy is paramount; all contact data is only on the user’s phone and is deleted after 21 days.
- Secure contact tracing is a cornerstone of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy. More information on the app, including links to download it, can be found online.
- The app currently has 191,579 registered users.
Mental health supports
- Confidential supports are available to help with mental health concerns. The Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642 and the Addiction Help Line at 1-866-332-2322 operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Canadian Mental Health Association has resources at mentalhealthweek.ca.
- The Kids Help Phone is available 24-7 and offers professional counselling, information and referrals and volunteer-led, text-based support to young people by texting CONNECT to 686868.
- Online resources provide advice on handling stressful situations and ways to talk with children.
Family violence prevention
- A 24-hour Family Violence Information Line is available at 310-1818 to get anonymous help in more than 170 languages.
- Alberta’s One Line for Sexual Violence is available at 1-866-403-8000, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- The requirement that people fleeing family violence apply in-person for an Emergency Protection Order (EPO) is temporarily suspended; provincial courts can now hear applications for EPOs via telecommunication.
- Information sheets and other resources on family violence prevention are available at alberta.ca/COVID19.
- The most important measure Albertans can take to prevent respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, is to practise good hygiene.
- This includes washing your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, avoiding touching your face, coughing or sneezing into your elbow or sleeve, and disposing of tissues appropriately.
- Anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19, including cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat or shortness of breath, is eligible for testing. To access testing, complete the COVID-19 self-assessment online. A separate self-assessment tool is available for health-care and shelter workers, enforcement and first responders. After completing the form, there is no need to call 811.
- Albertans are asked to share acts of kindness they have experienced in their community during this difficult time by using the hashtag #AlbertaCares.
- The Alberta Connects Contact Centre (310-4455) is available to Albertans Monday to Friday, from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.