What you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Wednesday, April 8
Albertans exposed to the virus can now sign up for a test of controversial drug hyped by Trump
- All residents in the Calgary zone with cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat or shortness of breath are now eligible for COVID-19 testing.
- Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 in Alberta will peak in late May, according to modelling information released Wednesday.
- Three more people died from COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, and the province has reported 50 new cases.
- Modelling released by the province on Tuesday night suggests as many as 800,000 COVID-19 infections could sweep across Alberta.
- The province also revealed details of its action plan once the peak of infections has passed.
- A hotel has now opened to house homeless Calgarians who need to self-isolate.
- Enbridge CEO says Canadian oil production could drop 25 per cent during pandemic.
- Health Canada is cracking down on misleading and false claims of COVID-19 preventions and cures.
- Albertans exposed to virus can join clinical trial into hydroxychloroquine, the controversial drug promoted by U.S. President Donald Trump.
What you need to know today in Alberta:
Modelling information released Wednesday indicated that Alberta should have enough ventilators, intensive care beds and personal protective equipment to handle the projected peak next month.
Despite that, Albertans likely won't see any easing on physical distancing rules until the end of May. The guidelines might be relaxed at that point, but only if people continue to abide by the rules now to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Premier Jason Kenney, speaking on Tuesday night, said provincial modelling shows a "probable" scenario where the outbreak peaks in mid-May with as many as 800,000 infections and between 400 and 3,100 deaths.
WATCH | Jason Kenney discuss projections for COVID-19 infections in Alberta:
That contrasts against the relatively low number of new cases reported on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the low number of people tested in the past few days. But that number is expected to increase as testing is expanded.
The numbers, the data, can get confusing, so stay up to date and informed with our regular breakdown of what it all means.
Of the 1,423 cases, 876 are considered active cases. So far, 518 Albertans have recovered from COVID-19, and 29 Albertans have died.
The majority of COVID-19 cases in the province continue to be located in the Calgary zone. Here's a breakdown by region:
- Calgary zone: 860 cases
- Edmonton zone: 368 cases
- North zone: 95 cases
- Central zone: 72 cases
- South zone: 26 cases
- Unknown: 2 cases
As of Wednesday, 66,783 Albertans have been tested for COVID-19.
What you need to know today in Canada:
Canada's doctors are demanding the federal government to do more to protect front-line workers against COVID-19, calling a lack of protective equipment "outrageous and unacceptable."
The president of the Canadian Medical Association, Dr. Sandy Buchman, said he is hearing from physicians that the inadequate supply of surgical masks, N95 respirators, face shields, gowns and gloves is even more alarming than initially thought.
WATCH | Can COVID-19 be spread by talking:
On the economic front, the government is pledging more help for youth and businesses impacted by COVID-19 and the wage subsidy appears to be having an impact as Air Canada plans to rehire 16,500 laid-off workers.
As of 6:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Canada had 19,291 confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19. The provinces that release data on patients considered recovered had listed 4,666 cases as resolved.
CBC News, which has been tallying the reported deaths, has recorded 464 COVID-19-related deaths in Canada, with two known coronavirus-related deaths of Canadians abroad.
Public health officials have noted that the reported figures don't capture the full picture as they don't include cases that haven't been tested or are still under investigation.
Alberta Health Services has an online self-assessment tool that you can use to determine if you have symptoms of COVID-19.
WATCH | Dr. Tam says wearing non-medical masks may help fight COVID-19:
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.