What you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Friday, May 15

Alberta's top health official says the province should know within a week if its first phase of reopening leads to a spike in cases, while some front-line workers are still waiting for a promised wage top up.

With some restrictions lifted in most areas, province should know within a week if a second wave hits

Some aides at long-term care facilities are still in the dark about a wage top up promised by the provincial government. (Getty Images/Cultura RF)

The latest:

What you need to know today in Alberta:

Alberta's chief medical officer of health says the province should know within a week if yesterday's reopening of bars, restaurants and some other businesses in most areas will lead to a surge in new cases

Dr. Deena Hinshaw also encouraged Albertans to wear masks when going out to recently reopened spaces, but stopped short of mandating their use. 

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In Calgary, where restaurants and bars did not reopen, Mayor Naheed Nenshi asked Calgarians not to flock to nearby towns and cities without those restrictions. 

Besides having more cases than any other jurisdiction in the province, the Calgary zone has also been the site of several workplace outbreaks. An update on those outbreaks was provided on Thursday. 

  • Amazon Fulfilment Centre, Balzac: 13 cases (2 active, 11 recovered).
  • APS Calgary: 32 cases (9 active, 23 recovered).
  • Calgary Alpha House: 8 cases (7 active, 1 recovered).
  • Canada Post, Calgary: 6 cases (2 active, 4 recovered).
  • Cargill, staff and contractors, High River: 950 cases (16 active, 932 recovered, 2 deaths).
  • Calgary Refrigerated Warehouse, Calgary: 17 cases (4 active, 13 recovered).
  • Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre Society, Calgary: 5 cases (3 active, 2 recovered).
  • Cascade Recovery+, Calgary: 22 cases (20 active, 2 recovered).
  • Flyers Force, Calgary: 13 cases (6 active, 7 recovered).
  • Harmony Beef, meat-packing, Rocky View County: 40 cases (5 active, 35 recovered).
  • Midtown Co-op, Calgary: 17 cases (3 active, 14 recovered).
  • Purolator, Calgary: 68 cases (30 active, 38 recovered).

There have been 755 cases in continuing care in the province, with 100 active, 569 recovered and 87 deaths.

The breakdown of cases by region on Friday was:

  • Calgary zone: 870 active, 3,505 recovered.  
  • South zone: 106 active,1,069 recovered. 
  • Edmonton zone: 61 active, 444 recovered.
  • North zone: 18 active, 195 recovered. 
  • Central zone: 13 active, 85 recovered. 
  • Unknown: 5 active, 19 recovered.

What you need to know today in Canada:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to provide details on Friday about extending the federal government's emergency wage subsidy, which pays for up to 75 per cent of the payroll for eligible companies. 

The $73-billion program was initially scheduled to run until June 6. The program pays up to $847 per employee to help employers — who are facing plummeting revenues due to pandemic measures — keep their workers for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis.

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As of Friday at 8:30 p.m. ET, Canada had 74,613 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases, with 36,908 of those considered recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of COVID-19 deaths based on provincial health data, regional information and CBC's reporting stood at 5,664.

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.

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 10 days from the onset of symptoms. Those in Calgary can get a test even if they are not showing symptoms. 

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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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