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What you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Sunday, April 26

Health Canada has cautioned against the use of malaria drugs to treat COVID-19 as the global toll of COVID-19 cases tops 200,000.

Global deaths from COVID-19 have surpassed 203,000, researchers say

A man with a mask walks by one of the many businesses closed in Calgary because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Bryan Labby/CBC)

The latest:

  • Alberta reported 247 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, for a total of 4,480 cases and 73 deaths in the province.
  • Two clients of the Calgary Drop-In Centre have tested positive.
  • Filipino workers at Cargill's meat-packing plant in High River say they feel unfairly blamed for the outbreak, and workers have accused the company of ignoring physical-distancing protocols.
  • Tsuut'ina Nation will now fine those who break its 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said reopening the economy hinges on sectors having enough personal protective equipment.
  • Alberta has announced a $1-billion well reclamation program
  • Premier Jason Kenney said Alberta is likely to hit a deficit somewhere in the range of $20 billion this year.
  • There are now three confirmed cases on the Stoney Nakoda First Nation.
  • There are also two new cases at Mountain View Poultry in Okotoks.
  • Calgary has extended a ban on events on city land to the end of August

What you need to know today in Alberta:

Economist Trevor Tombe said Alberta's upcoming fiscal year could see deficits hit somewhere between $15 to $20 billion, roughly doubling Alberta's debt-to-GDP ratio from just under 10 per cent to just under 20 per cent at this time next year.

On Friday, the government announced a $1-billion program to reclaim oil and gas wells, something it says will create 5,300 jobs in the province. 

The government also said it's close to rolling out a contact-tracing app that will alert users as to whether they came into contact with someone who tested positive. Details are few. The government says the app is voluntary. Alberta's privacy commissioner is waiting on a privacy impact statement. 

Alberta reported 247 new cases on Saturday afternoon, bringing the total to 4,480.

There are 83 people current in hospital, and 20 are in intensive care. A total of 125,310 people have been tested, and 1,549 people have recovered.

The number of cases in Calgary has now surpassed 3,000.

The regional breakdown of cases as of Sunday morning was:

  • Calgary zone: 3,104.
  • Edmonton zone: 479.
  • Central zone: 83.
  • South zone: 598.
  • North zone: 182.
  • Unknown: 34.

What you need to know today in Canada:

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, has warned against relying on herd immunity to reopen the economy. 

"The idea of … generating natural immunity is actually not something that should be undertaken," Tam said Saturday.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada's focus is still to prevent the spread of COVID-19 through physical distancing and personal protective equipment.

WATCH: What happens after Canadians flatten the curve:

The curve for COVID-19 cases in Canada is starting to flatten, but before cases see a major decrease in the number of deaths that number will continue to rise. 2:02

As of 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 in Canada sat at 45,354, and the number of deaths hit 2,555 deaths, not including two deaths abroad, according to a CBC News tally. 

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. 

WATCH: How to physically distance in tricky situations:

Physical distancing has radically changed how we socialize. But there are still some scenarios where it’s difficult to limit our physical contact with others. Here’s how to best navigate them. 3:24

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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