City of Calgary outlines plans to 'flatten the curve' of COVID-19

With three new cases of the novel coronavirus in Calgary being announced Wednesday, the city outlined its plans to attempt to "flatten the curve."

Everyone has a role to play in the coming weeks, the city says

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said the city would be making a number of determinations on how to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak in the coming weeks. (Mike Symington/CBC)

With three new cases of the novel coronavirus in Calgary being announced Wednesday, the city outlined its plans to attempt to "flatten the curve."

Tom Sampson, the head of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency, said everyone in the city has a role to play to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

Everyone can help, Sampson said, by washing hands, not shaking hands with others and by staying home if they feel ill.

"You know, we can give you a clean bus in the morning and we can give you a clean city hall to come into, but invariably, people will come into these public spaces," Sampson said. "So it's up to us to work hard to protect our own health."

Sampson said COVID-19 is 10 times more lethal than the flu and is easily transmitted, but there's plenty experts still don't know.

The city has already stepped up its efforts to sanitize public transit and recreation facilities, and signs have been posted at some city buildings that remind those entering that they should stay away if they exhibit cough, fever or flu-like symptoms.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi is calling on residents to follow public health advice and take care of others in the community should they become infected.

"Yes, it's very serious," Nenshi said. "No, there's no need to panic."

Nenshi said those who are experiencing symptoms should contact Health Link at 811.

"There's no need to panic, and there's certainly no need to stock up on toilet paper. It's a respiratory illness, not an intestinal illness," he said. "But it is important for us to understand this is serious. This is going to get worse. There will be many more cases in Calgary and in Alberta.

"Our goal here is to use good public health measures to flatten the curve."

The city will also be making determinations on whether to continue to hold city-run events in the next few weeks and months.

Alberta reported five new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the total number in the province to 19, all of which are travel-related.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common symptoms include:

  • Fever.
  • Cough.
  • Tiredness.

But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia, which can lead to death.

What should I do if I feel sick?

Isolate yourself and call your local public health authority. Do not visit an emergency room or urgent care centre to get tested.

How can I protect myself?

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Be aware of evolving travel advisories to different regions.

More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.

Important reminder: The World Health Organization said more than 80 per cent of COVID-19 infections are estimated to be mild.

  • Have you got a news tip tied to the COVID-19 outbreak? You can reach CBC Calgary at or CBC Edmonton here

With files from Scott Dippel


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