What you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Monday, July 13
Premier urges Albertans to stay vigilant after sunbathers crowd Sylvan Lake beach
- Premier Jason Kenney urged Albertans to stay vigilant at a virtual news conference this afternoon, after photos of a crowded beach weekend at Sylvan Lake surfaced online and sparked COVID-19 concerns from residents and politicians.
- Kenney said the rate of COVID-19 related hospitalizations in Alberta are trending downward, with 45 patients currently in hospital and 10 in the ICU.
- As of this morning, A&W, Tim Hortons and McDonald's restaurants with drive-thrus will again be offering packages of free masks to customers in a bid to limit the spread of COVID-19.
- Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Premier Kenney and Health Minister Tyler Shandro each emphasized the importance of wearing masks — especially in public indoor spaces — to help contain the spread of COVID-19.
- Hinshaw said that cases of COVID-19 in Alberta are increasing, with 54 new cases reported on Friday, 96 new cases on Saturday and 80 new cases on Sunday.
- There are currently 676 active cases in Alberta, and 7,989 people have recovered.
- While the provincial government's economic recovery plan is moving forward, Kenney said there is no target date for Stage 3 of reopening due to the "concerning" increase in cases of COVID-19 over the weekend.
- Alberta universities plan to do away with dormitory residences in favour of apartment-style housing during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it'll cost the students plenty.
- Fort McKay First Nation Chief Mel Grandjamb says masks are now mandatory after the northern Alberta community learned of its first case of COVID-19.
- Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi is considering bringing a draft bylaw to make masks mandatory in certain situations.
What you need to know today in Alberta:
Premier Jason Kenney urged Albertans to stay vigilant at a virtual news conference this afternoon, after photos of a crowded beach weekend at Sylvan Lake surfaced online and sparked COVID-19 concerns from residents and politicians.
An infectious disease expert at the University of Calgary said the pictures are worrisome as the risk is still "quite high" in such gatherings. He said they indicate "COVID fatigue" — people appearing to lose track of public health guidelines that exist as a condition of the province's relaunch plan.
Hinshaw said that cases of COVID-19 in Alberta are increasing, with 54 new cases reported Friday, 96 new cases Saturday and 80 new cases Sunday. While the provincial government's economic recovery plan is moving forward, Kenney said there is no target date for Stage 3 of reopening due to the "concerning" increase in cases of COVID-19 over the weekend.
Hinshaw, Kenney and Shandro each emphasized the importance of wearing masks — especially in public indoor spaces — to help contain the spread of COVID-19.
A&W, Tim Hortons and McDonald's restaurants with drive-thrus are again offering free packages of the masks to customers in a bid to limit the spread of COVID-19. About 20 million non-medical, single-use masks will be served up at more than 600 outlets across Alberta, the province said in a statement.
Masks will also be provided to municipalities without access to the participating restaurants, including First Nations and Métis settlements, places of worship, transit services, shelters and long-term care facilities.
Alberta universities plan to do away with dormitory residences in favour of apartment-style housing during COVID-19 pandemic — and the move comes with a cost increase of $3,000 for students at the University of Calgary. According to the university's website, meal plans are not included.
Fort McKay First Nation Chief Mel Grandjamb says masks are now mandatory after the community learned of its first case of COVID-19. Trips into and out of the First Nation will be limited to one per day, and travel within the community is strongly discouraged.
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi has mused about the possibility of making masks mandatory in certain situations and says he could bring forward a draft bylaw to council on July 20.
That move would join Calgary with three other major Canadian cities in making masks mandatory. Here are some of the top questions and answers when it comes to how a mandatory mask bylaw might work and whether the science supports it.
Meanwhile, Edmonton has been chosen as a hub city for the NHL's return, with the league choosing cities that largely have their coronavirus outbreaks under control when compared to United States counterparts.
As of Monday, this was the breakdown of active cases across the province:
- Calgary zone: 267.
- Edmonton zone: 199.
- South zone: 110.
- North zone: 53.
- Central zone: 35.
- Unknown: 12.
What you need to know today in Canada:
As the volume of travellers entering Canada through the U.S. has increased in recent weeks, public health officials are being placed at land borders to bolster screening for COVID-19.
As of 6:30 a.m. ET on Monday, Canada had 107,590 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 71,467 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 8,819.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford is expected to announce plans for Stage 3 of the province's reopening today. According to a document released in late April, Stage 3 includes allowing remaining workplaces to reopen "safely," further relaxing restrictions on public gatherings and likely reopening outdoor playgrounds. The spread of COVID-19 continues to slow in Ontario, with new daily case numbers having steadily declined over the last five weeks.
Masks or face coverings will soon be mandatory in all indoor public spaces across Quebec, Radio-Canada has confirmed. Premier François Legault is expected to make the announcement at a news conference at 1 p.m. ET.
Newfoundland and Labrador has reported its first new case of coronavirus in 43 days. The patient is a man in his 50s who had recently returned from the United States, according to the government.
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.
The province also operates a confidential mental health support line at 1-877-303-2642 and addiction help line at 1-866-332-2322, available from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week.
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.