Update 111: COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (Aug. 18 at 5:30 p.m.)
In total, 11,025 Albertans have now recovered from COVID-19. There are 48 people in hospital, 11 of whom are in intensive care.
- 89 additional cases have been identified in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of active cases to 1,169.
- Cases have been identified in all zones across the province:
- Calgary zone: 295 active cases and 6,522 recovered
- South zone: 39 active cases and 1,655 recovered
- Edmonton zone: 636 active cases and 1,755 recovered
- North zone: 107 active cases and 599 recovered
- Central zone: 87 active cases and 470 recovered
- Five active cases and 24 recovered cases in zones to be confirmed
- Additional information, including case totals, is online.
- To date, 1,848 cases have an unknown exposure.
- There were 8,027 tests completed in the last 24 hours.
- Alberta labs have now performed 837,649 tests on 677,754 Albertans.
- There is one new death to report in the last 24 hours.
- Total number of deaths is 225: 117 in the Calgary zone; 56 in the Edmonton zone; 23 in the North zone; 23 in the South zone; and six in the Central zone.
- There are 39 active cases and 928 recovered cases at continuing care facilities; 153 facility residents have died.
Expanded asymptomatic testing in community pharmacies
- More Shoppers Drug Marts and pharmacies in other Loblaw-owned stores will offer testing to Albertans without symptoms.
- Currently more than 50 Shoppers Drug Mart and Real Canadian Superstore pharmacies are part of Alberta’s pharmacy asymptomatic testing program.
- This will more than quadruple to 234 Loblaw-owned pharmacies by Sept. 1.
- 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.
Teacher, staff and student 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 school authority 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.
- Anyone with symptoms must book testing through Alberta Health Services and cannot go to a community pharmacy. People with symptoms and close contacts receive priority.
School health measures
- K-12 classrooms will open at the start of the school year with health measures in place.
- Masks will be mandatory for Grade 4 to 12 students and all school staff in all settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained.
- 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.
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.
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.
- A fix is under development that will let the app run in the background when iPhones are locked.
- Almost 237,000 Albertans already use the app. We will ensure the best possible transition experience for users when the national app is rolled out in Alberta.
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.
- Legal requirements for physical distancing and isolating when sick or showing symptoms are still in effect, and all Albertans must adhere to these restrictions.
- 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.