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What you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Saturday, April 4

The majority of the deaths in Alberta have been in continuing care homes and there are currently nine outbreaks in seniors' homes across the province.

Alberta has surpassed the 1,000-case mark, health officials announced Friday

On Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Jason Kenney both criticized the Trump administration's move to pressure 3M to cease its exports of N95 masks to Canada. (Nicholas Pfosi/Reuters)

The latest:

  • Another 106 cases of COVID-19 were announced in Alberta on Saturday, bringing the province's total to 1,181.
  • Two more people died in Calgary on Saturday, both women in their 90s at McKenzie Towne care home. A total of 20 Albertans have died and 240 have recovered.
  • There are 42 people in hospital and 14 have been admitted to intensive care.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Jason Kenney both criticized the Trump administration's order to stop exporting N95 masks to Canada.
  • On Friday, Dr. Deena Hinshaw said she hoped to have a formal recommendation on masks next week.
  • With few exceptions, patients in Alberta hospitals will no longer be able to have any visitors in person.
  • Advocates want changes to AISH as pandemic worsens issues of poverty and isolation.
  • A Lethbridge man exposed to COVID-19 has been charged with assault for allegedly coughing on officer. 
  • Misinformation researcher is warning against falling for touted miracle cures, including cow urine. 
  • 74 confirmed cases are in continuing care homes, including 65 in one home in southeast Calgary. 
  • Police can now hand out fines to those violating public health orders, up to $100,000 for a first-time serious violation. 

What you need to know today in Alberta:

The majority of Alberta's recorded deaths from COVID-19 are in continuing care homes and there are now outbreaks in nine facilities, with 93 cases. Alberta's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said it's a worrisome trend and that part of the problem is staff can work at more than one facility. 

WATCH | How one person can spread COVID-19 to others:

An infectious disease specialist explains how one person not staying home can contribute to the spread of COVID-19.  1:40

On the economic front, ATB's chief economist warned of the worst contraction in the province's history and that it will permanently change Alberta's economy.

Below is a breakdown of cases and deaths by region in Alberta, but you can also read a more detailed breakdown of the statistics and what they mean.

  • Calgary zone: 734 cases, 13 deaths.
  • Edmonton zone: 290 cases, 4 deaths.
  • Central zone: 66 cases.
  • North zone: 68 cases, 3 deaths.
  • South zone: 18.
  • Unknown: 5.

What you need to know today in Canada:

Some are calling for more information on what's driving government decisions as businesses are locked down and people are shut in. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that information, on a national level, will be coming, but Ottawa requires more data from provinces and territories. 

On Friday, however, Canada got a glimpse at of some of that data as Ontario Premier Doug Ford released provincial projections and modelling, which said the virus could kill between 3,000 and 15,000 and could be dealing with its effect for as long as two years

WATCH | Why gloves won't do much to protect you from COVID-19:

Dr. Samir Gupta explains why most people are better off washing their hands with soap and water than wearing gloves for protection against COVID-19. 1:54

As of Saturday morning, Canada has 12,549 confirmed and presumptive cases, with 219 deaths. The provinces and territories that list information about recovered cases have reported 2,296 cases as resolved or recovered.

There have also been two reported COVID-19 related deaths of Canadians abroad — one in Japan and one in Brazil. 

Public health officials caution that reported case numbers don't provide a complete picture of the scale of the outbreak as that data doesn't capture people who haven't been tested and cases that are still under investigation.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, has urged people nationwide to practise physical distancing and behave as though there is COVID-19 in their community, even if there is no known case. 

There is also evidence that asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19 are helping to drive the spread of the virus

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 are most at risk from the virus, or those most at risk of passing it on to others. 

On Saturday, AHS announced it is expanding its testing criteria to include symptomatic people in these roles:

  • Group home and shelter workers.
  • First responders, including firefighters.
  • Those involved in COVID-19 enforcement, including police, peace officers, bylaw officers, environmental health officers and Fish and Wildlife officers.
  • Correctional facility staff in provincial and federal facilities.

WATCH | Should I change my clothes when I get home from work?

Doctors answer your questions about the coronavirus in Canada, including whether it’s necessary to change clothes after work. 5:05

The province says Albertans who have returned to Canada after March 12 must 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.

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.

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