What you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Saturday, Oct. 3

Alberta Health Services declared an outbreak at the Calgary Remand Centre on Friday, while a sixth patient at the Foothills Medical Centre died from a COVID-19 infection.

An outbreak of COVID-19 has been declared at the Calgary Remand Centre

Five cases of COVID-19 were confirmed at the Calgary Remand Centre on Friday. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

The latest:

  • An outbreak has been declared at the Calgary Remand Centre with five cases of COVID-19 confirmed.
  • A sixth patient has died and a new unit has an outbreak at Calgary's Foothills hospital. There are 36 patient cases linked to the outbreaks and 31 health-care workers have tested positive.
  • Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, 200 Albertans have been infected with COVID-19 through outbreaks at hospitals, leading to 17 deaths.
  • Another 122 people in Alberta tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the total active cases to 1,558, down 38 since the last update on Thursday.
  • Across the province, 52 schools have reported outbreaks of two to four cases. Another seven schools are on the watch list, meaning they have five or more cases. 
  • Cases of COVID-19 have been rising among school-aged kids and teens in Alberta over the past week, but so too has the number of young people being tested.
  • Data from Alberta Health shows the number of new daily cases increasing among both five- to nine-year-olds and 10- to 19-year-olds.
  • Mount Royal University in Calgary announced Friday that it will continue delivering most classes online during the Winter 2021 semester.

What you need to know today in Alberta:

There is now an outbreak of COVID-19 at the Calgary Remand Centre, with five cases confirmed so far. Two cases were previously confirmed at the correctional facility in May.

A sixth patient at the Foothills Medical Centre has died from a COVID-19 infection as seven units now have reported outbreaks, according to the latest update from Alberta Health Services. 

As of Thursday, 290 health-care workers were self-isolating. AHS said that number would be updated twice weekly.

An outbreak has also been declared in one unit at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton. According to Alberta Health Services, the outbreak involves three health-care workers. At-risk patients in the unit have been tested and no positive COVID-19 cases have been identified among patients. AHS did not identify which health unit was affected.

The largest outbreak at a health-care institution so far in the province involved the Misericordia Community Hospital in west Edmonton, which has reopened after closing its doors to new patients in early July in response to a full-facility outbreak that killed 11 and infected 58.

There are 1,558 active COVID-19 cases in Alberta as of Friday. Of the 64 people in hospital, 15 are in intensive care.

Here's the regional breakdown of active cases reported on Friday:

  • Edmonton zone: 835 cases, down 16 from Thursday's update.
  • Calgary zone: 568 cases, down 19.
  • North zone: 104 cases, up 2.
  • South zone: 31 cases, down 1.
  • Central zone: 19 cases, unchanged.
  • Unknown: 1 case, down 4.

Alberta's chief medical officer of health says the province won't be cancelling Halloween over COVID-19 fears.

The province has released a series of guidelines on its website about how both trick-or-treaters and candy handers can enjoy the night safely.

A snapshot of the active cases by neighbourhood in Calgary as of Oct. 8. (CBC)

Find out which neighbourhoods or communities have the most cases, how hard people of different ages have been hit, the ages of people in hospital, how Alberta compares to other provinces and more in: Here are the latest COVID-19 statistics for Alberta — and what they mean

What you need to know today in Canada:

As of 10:20 a.m. ET on Saturday, Canada had 163,312 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 138,049 of those as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC's reporting stood at 9,409.

The federal government is giving $600 million to help small- and medium-sized businesses deal with possible lockdowns amid a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Radio-Canada has learned.

The funding — aimed at sectors including tourism, manufacturing and technology — will be added to the $962 million already invested in the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund. The announcement will be made Friday by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The Liberal government is also spending $10 billion in infrastructure initiatives such as broadband, clean energy and agricultural projects as part of its plan to boost growth and create one million jobs after the pandemic pummelled the economy.

Most Quebecers began a 28-day quasi-quarantine period on Thursday in a state of confusion about what, suddenly, they aren't allowed to do. 

The five million people living in Quebec's COVID-19 red zones — which include Montreal and Quebec City — have been ordered to keep their interactions with friends and family to the bare minimum. But the wording of the new rules is hazy in places, and has generated a litany of questions about what possible exceptions might apply.

Air Canada has ordered 25,000 testing kits that can detect COVID-19 in someone in as little as five minutes, a key hurdle for an industry that's desperately trying to make it safe and possible for travellers to fly again.

The first batch of tests will be for employee volunteers, now that the devices by Abbott Laboratories have been approved for use in Canada by federal health and safety authorities, the airline said Thursday.

Canadians living in the United Kingdom are weighing whether to return home as they watch coronavirus case numbers rise sharply in that country.

As many as 95,000 Canadians are estimated to have been living in the U.K. in  2019, according to data from Britain's Office for National Statistics.

Canada's economy continued its recovery in July from the first wave of COVID-19, with the country's gross domestic product expanding by three per cent.

Statistics Canada reported Wednesday that all 20 sectors of the economy grew as businesses continued to reopen and tried to get back to some sense of normal after lockdowns in March and April.

The federal government is offering to send the Canadian Red Cross into COVID-19 hotspots as case numbers rise and parts of the country slip into a second wave, according to sources.

A senior government official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the government has been reaching out to hard-hit regions recently experiencing outbreaks and surges.

Self-assessment and supports:

Alberta Health Services has an online self-assessment tool that you can use to determine if you have symptoms of COVID-19, but testing is open to anyone, even without symptoms. 

The province says Albertans who have returned to Canada from other countries must self-isolate. Unless your situation is critical and requires a call to 911, Albertans are advised to call Health Link at 811 before visiting a physician, hospital or other health-care facility.

If you have symptoms, even mild, you are to self-isolate for at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms, until the symptoms have disappeared. 

You can find Alberta Health Services' latest coronavirus updates here.

The province also operates a confidential mental health support line at 1-877-303-2642 and addiction help line at 1-866-332-2322, both available 24 hours a day. 

Online resources are available for advice on handling stressful situations and ways to talk with children.

There is a 24-hour family violence information line at 310-1818 to get anonymous help in more than 170 languages, and Alberta's One Line for Sexual Violence is available at 1-866-403-8000, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.


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