Calgary·THE LATEST

What you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Tuesday, Oct. 27

The province is bringing in mandatory limits of 15 people for most social gatherings in Edmonton and Calgary after Alberta reported 1,440 new COVID cases over the weekend, including a record of 572 on Saturday.

There are 4,738 active cases in the province, a new high, again

In both Calgary and Edmonton, the positivity rate is now above four per cent, triggering a new 15-person limit for social gatherings in an effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. (NIAID Integrated Research Facility/Reuters)

The latest:

  • Alberta reported 422 new cases on Tuesday, bringing it to a total of 4,738 active cases, a new high after hitting record numbers nearly every day for the past week. 
  • That comes after the province saw 1,440 new cases over the weekend — more than the number of cases reported in the entire month of June, and nearly as many as were reported in the month of May. 
  • Two more people have died, bringing total deaths in the province to 309. 
  • Nine Calgary police officers have tested positive for COVID-19 this week, and 18 officers and civilians who work with CPS who are currently isolating while they wait for results. The Calgary Police Commission heard Tuesday that an officer who was unaware they were positive transmitted the virus to another officer in the workplace.
  • In both Calgary and Edmonton, the positivity rate is now above four per cent, triggering a new 15-person limit for social gatherings in an effort to reduce the spread. 
  • The province is also recommending voluntary measures in both cities: wearing non-medical masks in all indoor work settings, except when people are in cubicles or when they can be safely distanced from others, and limiting themselves to no more than three cohorts. 
  • It also recommends that people in Edmonton and Calgary limit themselves to no more than three social cohorts.
  • Okotoks has activated its mandatory mask bylaw as the town is now under a watch status. 
  • There are 123 people in hospital, 16 of whom are in intensive care. 
  • Of current active cases in the province, 45 per cent have an unknown source.
  • As of Monday, there were outbreaks at 11 per cent of the province's schools, or 101 schools, 39 of which had more than five cases. There were 680 cases in schools.
  • All of the Alberta politicians who came into contact with a provincial cabinet minister infected with COVID-19 have tested negative for the coronavirus, the province said Monday.
  • A COVID-19 outbreak has spread at the Calgary Correctional Centre, with 65 cases as of Monday — 53 inmates and 12 staff. 

What you need to know today in Alberta:

Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Monday that while she has often spoken about the need to "balance between minimizing the risk of COVID-19 and minimizing the risk of harms of restrictions," the province is now "losing the balance we have been seeking."

The temporary measure, which caps attendance at 15 for events where people will be "mixing and mingling" like parties and baby showers, applies in the Calgary and Edmonton areas.

The province is also recommending two voluntary measures in both cities: wearing non-medical masks in all indoor work settings, except when people are in cubicles or when they can be safely distanced from others, and limiting themselves to no more than three cohorts. 

Alberta has reported a total of 26,155 cases since the pandemic began, with 4,738 of those now listed as active cases.

As of Tuesday, health officials reported 123 people were being treated in Alberta hospitals, with 16 of those patients in ICU beds. 

Before this past week, which set new records on multiple days in a row, the highest active case total was 3,022, which was reported on April 30 at the peak of the first wave.

The active case rate per 100,000 people is 109.8 in Calgary and 184.6 in Edmonton. 

Multiple infected inmates at the Calgary Correctional Centre tell CBC News they are living through  "inhumane conditions" — in cells typically reserved for those deemed to be the jail's most disruptive prisoners — while a wave of COVID-19 rapidly spreads through the facility.

As of Monday, 65 people — 53 inmates and 12 staff — have tested positive for COVID-19. Based on those numbers, Edmonton-based criminal defence lawyer Tom Engel says the outbreak has the potential to be "disastrous" in the facility.

There have been no positive COVID-19 tests among all of the Alberta politicians who came into contact with Alberta Municipal Affairs Minister Tracy Allard, who tested positive last week, the province said Monday.

(CBC)

Travellers entering Canada by land or air through Alberta will soon have the option of being rapid-tested for COVID-19 at the border, the province announced Thursday. The mandatory quarantine period for returning international travellers will be maintained for now, but the 14-day self-isolation period could be shortened to about 48 hours if a traveller receives a negative COVID-19 test result.

Here's the regional breakdown of active cases reported on Tuesday.

  • Edmonton zone: 2,290, up from 2,179 reported on Monday.
  • Calgary zone: 1,671, up from 1,549.
  • South zone: 254, up from 234.
  • North zone: 334, up from 222. 
  • Central zone: 165, up from 126. 
  • Unknown: 23, up from 11. 
A snapshot of the active COVID-19 cases by health district in Calgary as of Nov. 9. (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 7 a.m. ET on Tuesday, Canada had 220,213 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 184,303 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 9,973.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today he understands that Canadians are increasingly frustrated by "annoying" measures designed to curb the spread of COVID-19, but he's urging people to stay the course as cases continue to climb in some parts of the country.

Canada is in the grips of a second pandemic wave. Some provinces — notably Alberta, B.C., Ontario, Manitoba and Quebec — are now seeing case counts larger than those reported in the spring, at the onset of the pandemic.

"This sucks, it really, really does," Trudeau told a COVID-19 press briefing Tuesday morning. 

"It's going to be a tough winter. It's easy for us to want to throw up our hands ... it's frustrating to have to go through this situation. Nobody wanted 2020 to be this way, but we do get to control how bad it gets by all of us doing our part."

Ontario reported 851 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, down from Sunday's tally of more than 1,000 new cases. 

Most of the new cases were reported in Toronto, York and Peel regions and Ottawa. The province reported 1,042 confirmed new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, a record number for a single day.

Quebec, which has recorded more than 100,000 COVID-19 cases since the global pandemic began, reported 879 new cases on Sunday.

Officials at the EU have moved to halt Canadians from travelling to the bloc of European nations amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Canadian Transportation Agency has failed to settle a single complaint from Canadians demanding refunds for cancelled flights since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, CBC News has learned. 

The agency confirmed it's still processing complaints it received before March 11; it has yet to deal with any cases filed during the public health crisis.

Self-assessment and supports:

With winter cold and influenza season approaching, Alberta Health Services will prioritize Albertans for testing who have symptoms, and those groups which are at higher risk of getting or spreading the virus.

General asymptomatic testing is no longer available to anyone, but voluntary asymptomatic testing is available to:

  • school teachers and staff.
  • health-care workers.
  • staff and residents at long-term care and congregate living facilities.
  • any Albertans experiencing homelessness.
  • travellers requiring a test before departure.

Additional groups can also access asymptomatic testing if required.

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.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

now