What you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Thursday, April 9
Data is the order of the day with more modelling released and government saying it will track citizens' phones
- Three more people have died from COVID-19 in Alberta, and 28 new cases have been reported.
- Nurses at the McKenzie Towne continuing care centre allege a lack of cleaning and isolation has contributed to a deadly outbreak of COVID-19.
- The Town of Banff will implement "checkstops" to dissuade visitors from visiting.
- A new snapshot of job losses in Alberta shows 117,000 jobs have been axed due to COVID-19.
- All residents of the Calgary Zone with symptoms are now eligible for testing.
- Current modelling suggests Alberta has a sufficient stockpile of supplies and equipment to deal with projected peak of cases in May.
- The province says it plans to use smartphones to trace citizens and enforce quarantines.
- WestJet plans to rehire nearly 6,400 workers with the help of the federal wage subsidy.
What you need to know today in Alberta:
Albertans have been provided a wealth of data this week, all of which is driving government decisions. And the government, for its part, says it should have enough equipment and supplies to see the province through the worst of the pandemic based on those projections.
The province also said it will collect a different kind of data — personal location data from smartphones — once it starts into a "relaunch" phase where the pandemic is starting to come under control and measures are eased. That will be done to enforce quarantines, but privacy experts say there need to be restrictions in place.
WATCH | Jason Kenney discuss projections for COVID-19 infections in Alberta:
Meanwhile, the economic shutdown is hammering employment, and some economists think the current unemployment rate is likely around 20 per cent. Alberta is likely to be hardest hit of the provinces. In Banff, it's believed the rate is sitting around 85 per cent.
Statistics Canada figures show the province has lost about 117,000 jobs so far due to the pandemic.
Of the 1,451 cases in Alberta, 827 are considered active cases. So far, 592 Albertans have recovered from COVID-19, and 32 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: 878 cases.
- Edmonton zone: 376 cases.
- North zone: 97 cases.
- Central zone: 72 cases.
- South zone: 26 cases.
- Unknown: 2 cases.
As of Wednesday evening, 68,116 Albertans have been tested for COVID-19.
What you need to know today in Canada:
Figures released by Statistics Canada show the country lost over one million jobs in March, but those numbers, pulled from a monthly survey, likely don't paint the whole picture. In addition to the job losses, the agency noted another 1.3 million Canadians worked no paid hours and another 800,000 worked less than half their usual workload.
WATCH | Can COVID-19 be spread by talking:
On Thursday morning, officials released national modelling of the pandemic and how it might play out across the country. The modelling suggests there could be up to 700 COVID-19 deaths in Canada by April 16 and 11,000 to 22,000 over the course of the pandemic.
By Thursday afternoon, it was revealed the federal government has reached out to the provinces and territories about the possibility of invoking the never-before-used Emergencies Act.
This would give the government sweeping powers to regulate or prohibit travel, requisition and use property, order qualified people to provide essential services, regulate the distribution of goods, resources and services and establish emergency shelters and hospitals.
Under the act, Ottawa could redirect medical supplies — masks, ventilators and COVID-19 testing devices — to pandemic hot spots in dire need.
As of 6:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, Canada had reported 20,765 confirmed and presumptive cases. The provinces and territories that offer data about cases that are considered to be recovered listed 5,304 cases as resolved.
CBC News has counted a total of 530 COVID-19-related deaths in Canada, and there are two known 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 | 'Models are not a crystal ball': Dr. Theresa Tam:
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.