What you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Tuesday, July 21

Students are going back to in-person classes this fall and there's a COVID-19 outbreak at Peter Lougheed Hospital in Calgary.

Students to return to in-person classes, outbreak at Peter Lougheed Hospital

New Brunswick reported two new cases of COVID-19 Sunday. (NIAID Integrated Research Facility/Reuters)

The latest:

  • Alberta now has 1,193 active cases of COVID-19, reporting 509 new cases over the past four days. Roughly half of the province's cases are in Calgary. 
  • Premier Jason Kenney said "we should all be very concerned about the recent rise" in cases, during a Tuesday afternoon update. 
  • Two more people have died, a woman in her 80s in the Calgary zone and a woman in her 70s linked to the Good Samaritan Southgate Care Centre in Edmonton. 
  • An outbreak has been declared at the Peter Lougheed hospital, after four staff members on one unit tested positive. 
  • Despite the increased numbers, Alberta students are headed back to classrooms this fall — under what Education Minister Adriana LaGrange has referred to as "near-normal" daily operations with health measures.
  • Calgary city council is discussing today whether to make masks mandatory in public spaces, including on transit. 
  • Alberta Health has declared 16 regions around the province as under a "watch" for COVID-19, which means a rate of more than 50 cases per 100,000 people.

What you need to know today in Alberta:

The Alberta government announced Tuesday that students will resume in-person classes in September under Scenario 1 of the three possible scenarios that were announced in June. 

More Albertans are seeing their family physicians about mental-health concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic, frequently through virtual visits rather than regular appointments.

Calgary city council met on Monday to debate mandating the wearing of masks on Calgary Transit. The discussion continues today, with an amended bylaw proposing masks be mandatory in all indoor public spaces.

That follows days of triple-digit growth in COVID-19 cases.

With those numbers in mind, a group of Alberta doctors have reiterated their calls for mandatory masking in the province.

With the pandemic shutting down most structured activities, kids who would normally be sent to summer camp can now be seen roaming the streets, hanging out at parks and riding bikes. Guy Faulkner, a professor at UBC's school of kinesiology, says that's a very good thing.

Despite a "concerning" increase in new COVID-19 cases, Alberta will loosen restrictions next week on visits to continuing-care and nursing homes, the province's top doctor says.

As of Tuesday afternoon, this was the breakdown of active cases across the province:

  • Calgary zone: 589.
  • Edmonton zone: 233.
  • South zone: 131.
  • Central zone: 145.
  • North zone: 89.
  • Unknown: 6.

Calgary Emergency Management Agency chief Tom Sampson wears a mask during a city council hearing Monday on whether to make masks mandatory on transit. (CBC)

An inmate at the Edmonton Remand Centre has tested positive for COVID-19, CBC News has learned, but the inmate was still in quarantine after recent admission when a symptom appeared and was isolated with no evidence of transmission within the centre.

What you need to know today in Canada:

WE Charity founders Craig and Marc Kielburger will appear before a House of Commons committee next week to answer questions about the Liberal government's partnership with the charity in a $900-million student grant program it was tasked with administering. 

The number of shootings in Toronto is up over this time last year and advocates for communities at risk say the closure of safe spaces, programs and services due to the pandemic is partly to blame. 

Here's what you need to know now if you're yearning to take a trip — in Canada or beyond.

Scientists at Oxford University say their experimental coronavirus vaccine has been shown in an early trial to prompt a protective immune response in hundreds of people who received doses.

Out of the more than two million people who crossed the border into Canada since the start of strict quarantine laws, no one has been arrested and just a few have been fined for breaking the two-week isolation rule — figures the Public Health Agency of Canada says show the current strategy is working.

The agreement to restrict travel across the Canada-U.S. border will be extended into August. 

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 7 a.m. ET on Tuesday, Canada had 111,126 coronavirus infections. Provinces and territories listed 97,474 of those as recovered or resolved, leaving 4,761 active cases. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC's reporting stood at 8,891.

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, 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.


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