Update 186: COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (Feb. 9, 3:30 p.m.)
Alberta is expanding rapid testing for vulnerable groups. Keep following health guidelines to protect others and the health-care system.
- Over the last 24 hours, 195 new cases were identified.
- There are 427 people in hospital due to COVID-19, including 78 in intensive care.
- There are 5,831 active cases in the province.
- To date, 119,678 Albertans have recovered from COVID-19.
- In the last 24 hours, there were 12 additional COVID-related deaths reported: one on Jan. 1, one on Jan. 28, one on Feb. 4, four on Feb. 5, one on Feb. 6, three on Feb. 7, and one on Feb. 8.
- The testing positivity rate was 3.2 per cent.
- There was an increase of 7,003 tests (3,257,539 total) for a total of 1,777,620 people tested.
- All zones across the province have cases:
- Calgary Zone: 2,335 active cases and 46,050 recovered
- South Zone: 325 active cases and 5,651 recovered
- Edmonton Zone: 1,748 active cases and 49,631 recovered
- North Zone: 758 active cases and 9,712 recovered
- Central Zone: 656 active cases and 8,525 recovered
- Nine active cases and 109 recovered cases in zones to be confirmed
- Additional information, including case totals, is online.
- Currently, 315 schools, about 13 per cent, are on alert or have outbreaks, with 866 cases in total.
- 272 schools are on alert, with 513 total cases.
- Outbreaks are declared in 43 schools, with a total of 353 cases.
- In-school transmission has likely occurred in 77 schools. Of these, 61 have had only one new case occur as a result.
- There are currently 343 active and 8,692 recovered cases at long-term care facilities and supportive/home living sites.
- To date, 1,121 of the 1,722 reported deaths (65 per cent) have been in long-term care facilities or supportive/home living sites.
Expansion of rapid testing
- Asymptomatic staff in long-term care and supportive living facilities in Alberta will be tested at least once a week.
- In addition, the province is supplying rapid tests for a pilot project with Suncor Energy and Creative Destruction Labs at Suncor’s base plant in Fort McMurray and the First Nation and Métis community of Fort McKay.
- Step 1 of the Path Forward plan began Feb. 8. School-related and limited indoor and outdoor children’s sport and performance activities, one-on-one indoor personal fitness with a trainer, and dine-in service at restaurants, cafés and pubs are now permitted provincewide.
- The Path Forward plan has targets for easing restrictions based on hospitalization rates.
- Specific hospitalization numbers will be the benchmarks by which restrictions will be eased.
- Existing health measures are still in place and should be followed.
COVID-19 vaccination program
- As of Feb. 8, 124,325 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Alberta. This is 2,811.6 doses per 100,000 population. There are now 32,690 Albertans fully immunized with two doses.
- Due to interruptions in vaccine supply, no new first dose appointments will be booked for the next few weeks.
- As more doses of vaccines arrive, Alberta will expand its vaccine approach.
- Alberta’s phased approach to vaccination focuses first on priority health-care workers and those who are at highest risk of severe outcomes.
- Alberta is actively monitoring for COVID-19 variants and is enhancing the province’s capacity to do genetic analysis on samples.
- Variant case numbers are being updated regularly.
Border pilot program
- All border pilot participants must remain in quarantine until receiving a negative result from their second test on day seven or eight (counting arrival day as day one).
- Participants cannot return to child care, out-of-school care, schools, post-secondary institutions and workplaces outside of their home for 14 days.
- Returning travellers from the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil are not eligible to participate in the border pilot program.
- Strong public health measures remain in place to support the health and safety of students, teachers and staff.
COVID Care Teams outreach
- If you or others in your home have been directed to self-isolate/quarantine by Alberta Health Services and are unable to do so safely at home, please contact 211 to discuss options, including accessing an assigned hotel to safely isolate (free of charge). Financial assistance may also be available in the amount of $625, upon completion of the self-isolation period.
Enforcement of public health measures
- The government has granted certain Alberta peace officers and community peace officers temporary authority to enforce public health orders.
- Not following mandatory restrictions will result in fines of $1,000 per ticketed offence and up to $100,000 through the courts.
Albertans downloading tracer app
- All Albertans are encouraged to download the secure ABTraceTogether app, which is integrated with provincial contact tracing. The federal app is not a contact tracing app.
- Secure contact tracing is an effective tool to stop the spread by notifying people who were exposed to a confirmed case so they can isolate and be tested.
- As of Feb. 8, 307,287 Albertans were using the ABTraceTogether app, 66 per cent on iOS and 34 per cent on Android.
- Secure contact tracing is a cornerstone of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy.
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 500,000 Albertans have MHR accounts.
- All Albertans, especially seniors and those at risk, are encouraged to get immunized against influenza.
- To date, 1,527,367 Albertans have received their flu shot.
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. Resources are also available online.
- 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.
Alberta’s government is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by protecting lives and livelihoods with precise measures to bend the curve, sustain small businesses and protect Alberta’s health-care system.
- 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.