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What you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Monday, April 6

Rural Albertans are frustrated with poor internet connections, and animals are taking over the streets in Banff, but there's some good news. Applications open today for the federal emergency income supports for Canadians.

Poor internet connections frustrate rural Albertans, animals take over Banff streets

Natural gas producers could stand to benefit from some of the economic fallout of the pandemic, as U.S. production is expected to fall. (Dillon Hodgin/CBC)

The latest:

  • Another 98 cases of COVID-19 were announced Monday, bringing the total in the province to 1,348. A total of 24 people have died and 361 have recovered. 
  • Up to 204 cases may be due to community transmission, an increase of 52 from Sunday, said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health.
  • Alberta is second only to Australia in its testing rate, Hinshaw said. 
  • Asymptomatic spread is happening more frequently than was initially thought, Hinshaw said. Even wearing a non-medical face mask can be helpful to protect others, she said.
  • On Tuesday, testing access will be expanded to include those over 65 who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Premier Jason Kenney says the legislature will reconvene Tuesday morning to discuss amendments to the Emergency Measures Act, and Tuesday night he will deliver a televised address to Albertans. At that time, the province will provide details of AHS modelling, which shows when the province might hit its peak number of cases.
  • Banff has been hit hard by the pandemic shutdown as animals take over the main streets.
  • Some rural Albertans are frustrated with poor internet connections as many services have moved online. 
  • Another resident of the McKenzie Towne Long Term Care Home, hit hard by the virus, has died, bringing the total deaths at that nursing home to 11.
The total number of COVID-19 cases in Alberta rose to 1,348 on Monday. (CBC)

What you need to know today in Alberta:

The economic impact of the pandemic will have different effects based on region and industry. Rural Albertans are struggling with slow and expensive internet plans as schools and work move online, while in Banff, the only increase in foot traffic has been the animals, a sign of the town's "decimated" economy

One potential upside of the downturn comes for natural gas producers, who are hoping for an uptick in prices as production in the United States falls

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

Of course, the spread of the virus in Alberta is also a regional story. Here's a breakdown of cases as of Monday afternoon.

  • Calgary zone: 817 cases, 15 deaths.
  • Edmonton zone: 351 cases, 4 deaths.
  • Central zone: 66 cases, 1 death. 
  • North zone: 89 cases, 4 deaths.
  • South zone: 22 cases.
  • Unknown: 3 cases.

There have been 65,914 people tested for COVID-19.

What you need to know today in Canada:

Applications open today for the massive federal emergency income supports for Canadians, with successful applicants who set up direct deposit expected to receive their first payment within three to five days.  

In order to avoid overloading the system, the government has staggered applications throughout the week based on an applicant's month of birth. 

That national program is in contrast to some of the regional divisions popping up, as some provinces and territories set up checkpoints on their borders, barring entry and raising constitutional questions

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

There are more than 15,500 cases in Canada, with cases recorded in every province and territory except Nunavut. As of 6 a.m ET on Monday, officials had reported 307 COVID-19 related deaths in Canada.

The provinces and territories that offer information on people who have recovered listed more than 3,100 COVID-19 cases as resolved.

Public health officials have cautioned that the numbers, which don't include the deaths of two Canadians abroad, don't provide a full picture of the outbreak as they fail to capture cases that haven't been tested or are still under investigation.

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. 

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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