What you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Wednesday, May 20

The financial fallout from the pandemic on cities is coming into sharp view as Edmonton's mayor says public transit could be stopped this summer, even as the number of known cases continues to fall.

The financial fallout from the pandemic could force Edmonton to stop transit service this summer

Edmonton buses and LRT could stop running this summer due to the impact of the pandemic on city finances. (David Bajer/CBC)

The latest:

What you need to know today in Alberta:

The devastating impact on the budgets of Alberta's cities is coming into focus as Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson says the city could shut down public transit this summer in order to deal with the shortfall. 

Cities aren't allowed to run deficits and are facing a severe cash crunch from loss of revenues and increased costs. Transit alone is costing the cities millions each month. Mayors of both major cities have called for emergency funds from both the province and the federal government. 

Watch: Cities verging on financial crisis with rising costs, reduced revenue

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Canadian cities are on the verge of a potential financial crisis caused by dropping revenues and rising costs during the COVID-19 pandemic, and they're asking the federal government to step in. 1:52

On the health front, however, the province reported its lowest count of known new cases since April 9, but the province's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, warned it's still too early to tell whether the first stage of reopening the province has had an impact on spread of the virus. 

The total number of cases in Alberta as of May 19. (Evelyne Asselin/CBC)

A regional breakdown of cases as of Wednesday shows the impact of COVID-19 in different parts of the province:

  • Calgary zone: 784 active, 3,773 recovered.
  • South zone: 99 active, 1,105 recovered.
  • Edmonton zone: 59 active cases, 450 recovered.
  • North zone: 18 active cases, 197 recovered.
  • Central zone: 6 active cases, 92 recovered.
  • Unknown: 4 active, 20 recovered.

What you need to know today in Canada:

Police in Canada have been checking on a small percentage of returning travellers to ensure they're complying with orders to stay at home for 14 days. So far, only one ticket has been issued as a result of checks. 

Meanwhile, the government is contemplating how it will handle border security and health once travel restrictions are lifted. 

Watch: What we know, what's probably not true, and what we need to find out

COVID-19: What we know, what’s probably not true, and what we need to find out

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On the economic front, applications for loans for big businesses impacted by the pandemic open today and Canada's inflation rate went negative in April for the first time since 2009

As of 7:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, Canada had 79,112 confirmed and presumptive cases of the coronavirus, with 40,063 of those considered recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of the coronavirus death toll in Canada based on provincial data, regional health information and CBC's reporting stood at 6,011.

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.

Watch: COVID-19: What has 2 months of physical distancing accomplished?

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Experts answer questions about the COVID-19 pandemic two months after it was declared. 6:40

If you have symptoms, even mild, you are to self-isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms. 

You can find Alberta Health Services' latest coronavirus updates here.

The number of active cases in Calgary as of May 19. (Evelyne Asselin/CBC)

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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