Update 110: COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (Aug. 12 at 5:30 p.m.)
In total, 10,632 Albertans have now recovered from COVID-19. There are 50 people in hospital, 13 of whom are in intensive care.
- 121 additional cases have been identified in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of active cases to 1,044.
- Cases have been identified in all zones across the province:
- Calgary zone: 312 active cases and 6,371 recovered
- South zone: 55 active cases and 1,632 recovered
- Edmonton zone: 470 active cases and 1,611 recovered
- North zone: 111 active cases and 548 recovered
- Central zone: 92 active cases and 448 recovered
- Four active cases and 22 recovered cases in zones to be confirmed
- Additional information, including case totals, is online.
- To date, 1,910 cases have an unknown exposure.
- There were 8,024 tests completed in the last 24 hours.
- Alberta labs have now performed 785,361 tests on 641,870 Albertans.
- There is one new death to report in the last 24 hours.
- Total number of deaths is 217: 116 in the Calgary zone; 55 in the Edmonton zone; 21 in the North zone; 20 in the South zone; and five in the Central zone.
- There are 38 active cases and 910 recovered cases at continuing care facilities; 151 facility residents have died.
Note: The next update of this report will be on Aug. 18. Updated statistics will continue to be posted every weekday.
COVID-19 testing before the 2020-21 school year
- Asymptomatic testing is recommended for all teachers and staff in the Early Childhood Services to Grade 12 education system prior to the start of the 2020-21 school year.
- Teachers and staff who wish to access asymptomatic testing are encouraged to book a test as soon as possible through Alberta Health Services using the online self-assessment tool or by contacting a participating local community pharmacy.
- Parents can continue to access testing for their children through Alberta Health Services. Testing is only recommended for those children with symptoms or pre-existing medical conditions that have symptoms similar to COVID-19.
- To ensure availability for teachers and staff, Albertans who are asymptomatic and have no known exposure to COVID are asked to wait until after Sept. 1 to access asymptomatic testing.
- Work is underway to expand Alberta’s testing capacity and information about additional options for testing will be shared soon.
Asymptomatic testing in community pharmacies
- People with no symptoms and no known exposure to COVID-19 are encouraged to contact a participating pharmacy to arrange for testing. Those who are not teachers or school staff are asked to wait until after Sept. 1 to arrange testing, ensuring availability for teachers.
School health measures
- K-12 classrooms will open at the start of the school year with health measures in place.
- Mask use for Grade 4 to 12 students, and all school staff, will be mandatory in all settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained when school returns for the 2020-21 year.
- Government will distribute more than 1.6 million reusable masks, two each to 740,000 students and 90,000 staff.
- A re-entry tool kit is available to help prepare parents and students.
- Health officials will monitor and update the guidance for schools based on the best evidence.
COVID-19 ministerial orders
- As of Aug. 14, the following changes to ministerial orders related to COVD-19 will be in effect:
- Victims of family violence can apply for an emergency protection order in-person or remotely.
- Two ministerial orders will expire that allowed irrigation districts and rural utility associations to delay certain actions, such as AGMs and elections, during the public health emergency.
- The legal restriction under the Residential Tenancies Act preventing landlords from entering a rental premises if any of the parties involved are sick or isolating has ended, recognizing the existing guidance and health measures in place.
- Legislated requirements to hold annual general meetings are now reinstated. Organizations must hold their AGMs sometime after Aug. 14. Virtual meetings are permissible if set out in corporate bylaws.
- As of Aug. 15, landlords do not need to present evidence of a payment plan when filing an application to evict or recover possession due to non-payment of rent. Landlords and tenants are encouraged to develop payment plans if the tenant is struggling to pay rent because of COVID-19. Existing plans are in place for the time period.
- Children’s Services is helping child care programs safely transition and adjust back to normal regulations on staff-to-child ratios, group size, age groups, and hours of operations. With more families returning to their child care centres and school-age children returning to school, child care programs are less likely to require variances to their licence.
- Temporary rules that let employers give less than 24 hours notice of a shift change, and less than two weeks notice of a schedule change under an hours of work averaging agreement will expire Aug. 14.
- Permanent workplace rules replace other temporary measures to help employers and employees continue to manage the impact of COVID-19.
- Special rules let employees take leave to care for loved ones who are isolating, or children impacted by school or daycare closures.
- Rules allowing temporary COVID layoffs for up to 180 consecutive days were included in legislation, so employees stay attached to their jobs longer, even if their employer does not have work for them.
- The expanded list of approved respiratory personal protective equipment standards will stay in place until Aug. 14, 2021, for workers needing this protection.
- An order that limits health-care staff from working in more than one facility is extended for 18 months to help contain the spread of COVID-19.
- Effective Aug. 15, temporary concessions will expire that provided more time to comply with Traffic Safety Act regulations, extended timelines for Transportation Safety Board appeals, and reduced restrictions for commercial carriers for emergency relief efforts.
- Affected stakeholders, including commercial carriers, inspection agencies, municipalities and enforcement agencies, were notified in early August.
- Legal requirements for physical distancing and isolating when sick or showing symptoms are still in effect, and all Albertans must adhere to these restrictions.
Albertans downloading tracer app
- Secure contact tracing is a cornerstone of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy. Alberta recognizes that Canada is moving to a national tracing app, which currently is being tested in Ontario.
- Until the federal app is available in Alberta, we encourage Albertans to use ABTraceTogether.
- More than 235,000 Albertans already use the app. We will ensure the best possible transition experience for users when the national app is rolled out in Alberta.
Risk assessment tool
- The online risk assessment tool can help people identify if they are at high risk of having a severe outcome. The tool also provides information on how to mitigate that risk.
- The hospital is closed to new patients because of a COVID-19 outbreak. Updates are available at covenanthealth.ca.
Access to justice
- The Court of Queen’s Bench has new email filing procedures. Filing by fax is no longer accepted.
- The Court of Queen’s Bench is resuming jury selection and jury trials. Summonses are being sent for trials starting in September. For safety, jury selection and some jury trials will be off-site, summonses have locations.
- The Court of Queen’s Bench will continue to hear short, judge alone criminal trials via WebEx video and in-person, in COVID-safe courtrooms, until Dec. 18, 2020.
- More information is at https://www.albertacourts.ca/qb/resources/announcements.
- Do not attend a courthouse in person for any traffic trial scheduled up to and including Sept. 4.
- Instead, visit the Provincial Court of Alberta website for details on rescheduling.
Alberta’s Recovery Plan
- Alberta’s recovery plan will create jobs, economic diversification and a strong economic future.
Supporting Alberta businesses through relaunch
- The Alberta Biz Connect web page has health and safety guidelines for general workplaces and specific industry sectors. Check for new and updated guidance documents.
- Businesses may complete an online template to plan how to protect employees and patrons.
Addiction and mental health supports
- Confidential supports are available. 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.
- The Alberta government is providing an additional $48 million for people struggling with homelessness during the pandemic.
- The funding will help shelter operators continue to provide safe, healthy places to stay for vulnerable Albertans.
Family violence prevention
- A 24-hour Family Violence Information Line at 310-1818 provides 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.
- People fleeing family violence can call local police or the nearest RCMP detachment to apply for an Emergency Protection Order. In-person applications are temporarily suspended.
- Information sheets and other resources on family violence prevention are at alberta.ca/COVID19.
- Good hygiene is your best protection: wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face, cough or sneeze into an elbow or sleeve, and dispose of tissues appropriately.
- Albertans are asked to share acts of kindness during this difficult time at #AlbertaCares.
- Alberta Connects Contact Centre (310-4455) is open Monday to Friday, 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.