Calgary

What you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Friday, March 20

Alberta has 49 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the province's total to 195 cases, the province announced Friday.

Cases continue to climb and Alberta's economy continues to be hammered

Alberta has 49 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the province's total to 195 cases. (CBC)

The latest:

  • Alberta has 49 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the province's total to 195 cases.
  • Two confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the University of Calgary have been linked to an event involving more than 50 doctors.
  • Some Alberta daycares will reopen next week for kids of health-care and 'critical' staff, Premier Jason Kenney announced Friday.
  • Alberta homeless shelters, like the Mustard Seed and Drop-In Centre, will receive a financial boost from the province to help implement social distancing measures.
  • Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi is encouraging anyone who sees an individual or business that is violating orders under the local state of emergency to report it to 311. 
  • Grade 12 diploma exams have been cancelled, but students can request an exam if there are special circumstances. 
  • The Alberta government said it would provide front-line medical staff and funding to help shelter the homeless during the pandemic
  • Alberta's first COVID-19 death was announced Thursday afternoon.
  • As of Thursday, there have been 146 confirmed cases in the province.
  • The province's credit rating has been downgraded in light of a budget that is "no longer valid" as the price of oil continues to batter the bottom line.
  • Truckers continue to deliver goods across the province, but are facing stress and reduced services.
  • A doctor in Edmonton who tested positive for the virus was seeing patients prior to diagnosis, but that wasn't revealed to the public.
  • The City of Calgary will delay its 2020 census and set up a new fund to help maintain essential social services.
  • Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson declared a state of local emergency on Friday.

What you need to know today in Alberta:

The curve of new cases continues to rise in the province and it's not expected to peak until mid-April. If that's the case, measures to halt the spread will likely be in place until May.

The province is urging everyone to take the outbreak seriously and practise social distancing. Stay home to prevent the spread of the virus.

Though concerned about the availability of ventilators in Canada, Dr. Samir Gupta is encouraged by the first COVID-19 vaccine trials. 5:45

In the midst of shutdowns and self-isolations, governments at all levels are scrambling to offer help, including a massive federal bailout, but also relaxations on city utility payments in Calgary, and Edmonton eyeing property tax deferrals.

In Calgary, bus passengers are now required to load from the back of the bus, and new signs have gone up to warn passengers to stay away from drivers. 

Bus passengers are now asked to enter through the back door on Calgary Transit, with new signs asking them to stay away from drivers. (James Young/CBC)

For students, and parents, the province has released guidelines for continued learning at home and said on Friday afternoon that diploma exams for Grade 12 students have been cancelled. 

What you need to know today in Canada:

In the midst of a massive disruption to air travel around the world, Air Canada announced it was laying off over 5,000 flight attendants. Some Canadians, still overseas, are struggling to get home with restrictions on travel and a shortage of flights.

The prime minister announced a series of new measures on Friday morning, including a plan to ramp up production of medical supplies and a plan to bar asylum seekers from crossing the Canada-U.S. border. 

You might choose to self-isolate at home if you’ve been exposed, or think you’ve been exposed, to COVID-19. Ellen Mauro explains what to do. 1:50

Meanwhile, some Canadians are having trouble setting up deferrals on mortgage payments with Canada's big banks.

As of 11:00 p.m. ET on Friday, there were more than 1,000 presumptive and confirmed cases in Canada, with 12 deaths and 14 listed as recovered.

  • British Columbia: 348 confirmed cases, including five recovered and eight deaths.
  • Ontario: 318 confirmed cases, including five recovered and two deaths.
  • Alberta: 195 confirmed cases, including three recovered and one death.
  • Quebec: 139 confirmed cases, including one recovered and one death.
  • Saskatchewan: 26 confirmed and presumptive cases.
  • Manitoba: 17 confirmed and presumptive cases.
  • New Brunswick: 11 confirmed and presumptive cases.
  • Nova Scotia: 15 confirmed and presumptive cases.
  • Prince Edward Island: Two cases the province lists as positive.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: Four confirmed and presumptive cases.
  • Repatriated Canadians: 12 confirmed cases.

Self-assessment:

Alberta Health Services has an online self-assessment tool that you can use to determine if you have symptoms of COVID-19.

Testing is focused on individuals who have developed symptoms within 14 days of returning from travel outside Canada, or who have had contact with someone diagnosed with the illness.

Fearing a potential shortage of ventilators, one rural Canadian doctor has rigged up a fix. 2:04

The province "strongly requests" that Albertans who have returned to Canada after March 12 self-isolate for 14 days. 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.

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

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