Update 137: COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (Nov. 6, 5:15 p.m.)
Strong public health measures are being implemented to protect the health system and limit the spread of COVID-19. Expanded mandatory and voluntary limits on social gatherings are now in place to help reduce growing caseloads.
- To date, 24,684 Albertans have recovered from COVID-19.
- There are currently 6,822 active cases in the province.
- Over the last 48 hours:
- 802 new cases were identified on Nov. 4
- 609 new cases were identified on Nov. 5
- Alberta labs have now performed 1,869,192 tests on 1,305,540 people.
- There were nine additional deaths since Nov. 3, bringing the total number of COVID-19 deaths to 352.
- All zones across the province have cases:
- Calgary Zone: 2,886 active cases and 10,966 recovered
- South Zone: 398 active cases and 2,216 recovered
- Edmonton Zone: 2,819 active cases and 8,713 recovered
- North Zone: 431 active cases and 1,821 recovered
- Central Zone: 255 active cases and 914 recovered
- 33 active cases and 54 recovered cases in zones to be confirmed
- Additional information, including case totals, is online.
- There are 392 active cases and 1,631 recovered cases at continuing care facilities; 221 facility residents have died.
- School case information will be updated on Monday.
New COVID-19 measures
- Effective immediately, new mandatory and voluntary public health measures will help protect the health system and limit the spread of COVID-19.
- All Edmonton and Calgary residents should stop holding social gatherings within their homes and instead socialize in structured settings where it is easier to limit risk of exposure.
- The mandatory 15-person limit on social gatherings is being expanded to all communities on the watch list.
- Voluntary measures to limit cohorts to no more than three and to wear masks in the workplace unless able to safely distance are also strongly recommended for any community on the watch list, regardless of location.
- Additional measures to bolster Alberta’s public health response:
- AHS is prioritizing the hiring of about 380 additional contact tracing staff that will expand the contact tracing team to more than 1,100 people.
- To support contact tracing, all Albertans should download ABTraceTogether, Alberta’s contact tracing app.
- Alberta will also be shifting back to daily reporting of case numbers and information, including on weekends and holidays.
Updated contact tracing approach
- Alberta is piloting a targeted contact testing approach. This will make contact tracing faster and focus on populations at greatest risk of illness and further spreading COVID-19.
- Alberta Health Services will directly notify close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases in three priority groups only:
- health-care workers
- minors (parents will still be notified if their child has been exposed in a school setting)
- individuals who live or work within congregate or communal facilities
- AHS will no longer directly notify close contacts outside of these three priority groups, at this time.
- Albertans outside the priority groups who test positive will be asked to notify their own close contacts.
- AHS will continue to directly notify all positive cases of COVID-19 of their result, identify priority contacts that AHS will notify, and provide the case with guidance on notifying their own contacts.
Symptoms list for children
- Runny nose and sore throat are off the list of core symptoms requiring mandatory isolation for those under age 18. This includes the daily checklist used for school and child care settings.
- This is only for children with no known exposure. If a child is a close contact or had known exposure within 14 days, testing is recommended and the child still needs to isolate.
- A child with only one non-core symptom should stay home and be monitored for 24 hours. Testing is not needed if symptoms improve. The child can resume normal activities when they feel well.
- A child with two or more non-core symptoms, or if one symptom gets worse, should get tested. They should stay home until the symptoms go away, or they test negative and feel better.
- The COVID-19 symptoms list for adults, including teachers and daycare staff, is unchanged. Health officials will continue to monitor evidence closely.
International traveller COVID-19 pilot
- An Alberta-Canada joint pilot program is testing an alternative to the 14-day quarantine requirement for international travellers while continuing to protect Canadians from COVID-19.
- Participants are closely monitored daily for symptoms and must follow enhanced preventive health measures, such as wearing masks in public places and avoiding visiting high-risk groups.
- Everyone, especially seniors and those at risk, is encouraged to get immunized against influenza.
- As of Nov. 4, 853,320 Albertans had received their flu shot. This is an increase of 145,118 doses compared with the same date last year.
- By appointment, doctors’ offices and participating pharmacies will immunize ages five and up.
- By appointment, public health clinics will immunize ages under five, their household members; people with no provincial health number; and where they are the only provider.
Asymptomatic testing paused
- Asymptomatic COVID-19 testing is paused to help reduce testing wait times, speed up results and limit the spread.
- Anyone with no symptoms must be tested if they are a close contact, or are linked to an outbreak. Book tests online at AHS.ca or call HealthLink at 811.
- Albertans with health concerns but no symptoms or exposure should talk to their care provider.
School health measures
- An online map lists schools with two or more confirmed cases. The map is updated on school days.
- Government distributed more than 1.6 million reusable masks to 740,000 students and 90,000 staff.
- A re-entry tool kit is available for parents and students.
MyHealth Records quick access
- Parents and guardians can access the COVID-19 test results for children under the age of 18 through MyHealth Records (MHR) as soon as they are ready.
- More than 417,200 Albertans have MHR accounts.
Albertans downloading tracer app
- Currently, 252,729 Albertans are using the ABTraceTogether app, 65 per cent on iOS and 35 per cent on Android.
- Secure contact tracing is a cornerstone of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy.
Access to justice
- 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.
- Legally, all Albertans must physically distance and isolate when sick or with symptoms.
- 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.
- Please 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.