What you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Thursday, April 16
Outbreaks are popping up at workplaces across the province while WestJet lays off 1,700 pilots
- Two more deaths from COVID-19 were reported Thursday as the province reported 162 new cases.
- Seven staff members of the maternity ward at Calgary's Foothills hospital have tested positive, but AHS says no patients have been affected.
- WestJet has laid off 1,700 pilots.
- There is an outbreak of COVID-19 at the Kearl Lake oilsands facility.
- COVID-19 cases confirmed at 3 Alberta meat-packing plants.
- An inmate at the Edmonton Institution alleges guards are taking advantage of pandemic to assault prisoners and deny them medical care.
- City of Edmonton could be out $260 million if pandemic persists past December.
- Edmonton Catholic Schools issued 700 temporary layoff notices on Thursday.
- The Calgary Board of Education has cancelled all graduation ceremonies in light of the pandemic.
- Parks Canada has made it official: no camping on the May long weekend.
What you need to know today in Alberta:
The government announced on Wednesday afternoon that it would invest an extra $54 million to help deal with mental health problems and addictions related to the pandemic. The majority of that money will go toward phone and online supports.
That comes as Calgary police report a rise in domestic violence calls, but the service said most most of the calls are for verbal, not physical, disputes.
WATCH: What happens after Canadians flatten the curve:
Two more people died of COVID-19 on Thursday and the province reported 162 new cases, bringing the total number of deaths to 50 and the total number of cases to 2,158.
A regional breakdown of the cases was unavailable due to a technical issue, the province said.
What you need to know today in Canada:
Canada has so far avoided a spike in hospitalizations that many feared would overwhelm the health-care system, but experts say relaxing physical distancing measures anytime soon could put that in jeopardy.
Even though the surge has so far not materialized, the number of cases continues to rise, as do deaths. That's particularly true in long-term care homes.
To that end, Justin Trudeau said he would be speaking with premiers about how to boost pay for critical support workers in those homes.
Beyond those workers, Trudeau announced expanded help for businesses on Thursday, including new loan eligibility and assistance with commercial rents that will need to be co-ordinated with the provinces.
WATCH: Finding a way to help during the pandemic:
As of 6:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, Canada had 30,092 presumptive and confirmed coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories that provide data on recovered cases listed 9,714 as resolved or recovered.
A CBC News tally of COVID-19-related deaths based on provincial and regional public health data, as well as CBC's reporting, stood at 1,264. There have also been two reported coronavirus-related deaths of Canadians abroad.
Alberta Health Services has an online self-assessment tool that you can use to determine if you have symptoms of COVID-19.
WATCH: How to physically distance in tricky situations:
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.