Update 124: COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (Sept. 21, 5:15 p.m.)
Currently, 51 people are in hospital due to COVID-19, nine of whom are in intensive care – well below hospital capacity. Almost 35,000 tests have been completed since Sept. 17.
- There are currently 1,459 active cases, down 24 since the last update.
- This update covers the past 72 hours.
- 119 new cases were identified and 12,451 tests were completed on Sept. 18
- 102 new cases were identified and 9,748 tests were completed on Sept. 19
- 137 new cases were identified and 12,760 tests were completed in the last 24 hours
- Alberta labs have now performed 1,215,672 tests on 932,912 Albertans.
- There was one death reported in the last 72 hours.
- There are currently 126 confirmed cases in 81 schools.
- Of those, 62 schools with 74 total cases are on alert.
- Nineteen schools, six of them new, have reported outbreaks: 10 schools in the Calgary zone, six in the Edmonton zone, two in the North zone and one in the South zone.
- The online school status map identifies individual schools. Outbreaks total 52 cases.
- As of today, all zones across the province have cases:
- Calgary zone: 462 active cases and 7,838 recovered
- South zone: 45 active cases and 1,740 recovered
- Edmonton zone: 747 active cases and 3,668 recovered
- North zone: 181 active cases and 1,115 recovered
- Central zone: 20 active cases and 629 recovered
- Four active cases and 34 recovered cases in zones to be confirmed
- Additional information, including case totals, is online.
- There are 53 active cases and 1,064 recovered cases at continuing care facilities; 163 facility residents have died.
- In total, 15,024 Albertans have now recovered from COVID-19.
Targeted voluntary asymptomatic testing
- Alberta is shifting to targeted COVID-19 testing to reduce testing wait times, speed up access to results and support Albertans during influenza season and the winter months.
- Any Albertan with symptoms, is a close contact of a confirmed case, or linked to an outbreak will continue to be tested as usual.
- Voluntary asymptomatic testing will continue to be offered for priority groups that are most at risk of spreading COVID-19 to vulnerable or at-risk populations. This includes:
- school teachers and staff
- residents and staff in congregate settings
- health-care workers
- Albertans experiencing homelessness
- travellers who require testing prior to departure
- Voluntary asymptomatic testing is no longer recommended for other Albertans who have no symptoms and no suspected exposure to COVID-19.
- Any Albertan who has no symptoms but has already booked a test will still be able to get tested.
School health measures
- Alberta’s online map lists every school where there are two or more confirmed cases and an outbreak is declared. The map is updated Monday to Friday, on school days, and will also list schools that have shifted into scenario 2 or 3 to protect the health of students and staff.
- Work is underway to expand the map to include all schools where one confirmed case has been identified and alerts have been issued.
- Masks are mandatory for Grade 4 to 12 students and all school staff in all settings where distancing isn’t possible.
- Government has distributed more than 1.6 million reusable masks, two each to 740,000 students and 90,000 staff.
- A re-entry tool kit is available for parents and students.
- Health officials will monitor and update the guidance for schools based on the best evidence.
Accessing COVID-19 test results
- Albertans can receive their COVID-19 test results from AHS through an SMS text message or an automated phone call.
- Individuals who book a COVID-19 test through ahs.ca/covid or drop in for testing at an AHS assessment centre can now choose to get their results through these methods. Anyone who does not consent to receiving results via text message or through an automated phone call will instead receive their results through a call from an AHS team member.
MyHealth Records quick access
- Albertans age 14 and up can access the MyHealth Records (MHR) tool immediately after signing up without waiting for mail-out verification.
- Users can see their COVID-19 test results as soon as they are ready.
- More than 250,000 Albertans have MHR accounts.
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
- Currently, 242,261 Albertans are using the ABTraceTogether app, 66 per cent on iOS and 33 per cent on Android. New registrations average five per hour.
- Secure contact tracing is a cornerstone of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy.
- A fix is being developed so the Alberta app can run in the background of locked iPhones.
- Canada is moving to a national tracing app. Until it is available here, we encourage Albertans to use ABTraceTogether.
- As of Sept. 17, continuing care facilities and hospices have more flexibility with isolation requirements, recreation, dining and volunteers.
- This new risk-based approach will increase flexibility when risk is low without reducing the overall protections in place.
Access to justice
- Alberta’s courts have made a variety of changes to ensure Albertans have access to justice while maintaining physical-distancing guidelines. For the latest updates on court operations, please visit:
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 online 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.
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, or follow the steps in the Emergency Protection Orders Telephone Applications (COVID-19).
- 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.