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What you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Wednesday, March 25

Premier Jason Kenney said provincial law enforcement agencies have been granted new powers to enforce public health orders.

Alberta reported 61 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the total to 419

Alberta reported 61 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the total so far to 419. (CBC News)

The latest:

The majority of Alberta's COVID-19 cases are located in the Calgary zone, with 250 confirmed as of March 25. (CBC News)

What you need to know today in Alberta:

No additional deaths were reported on Wednesday. Alberta recorded its second death on Tuesday, an elderly woman in a southeast Calgary care home. Three others at the care home have tested positive for the virus. 

Despite that grim news, there are some early — very early — indications that social distancing measures and closures could be blunting the curve. Whether the measures are successful, however, won't be known for weeks. 

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

In the meantime, the government must continue to govern, while respecting those same distancing rules. It's part of negotiations between the NDP and the UCP government over when to sit and with how many MLAs present. 

One thing they might have to discuss is help for renters in the province, as calls for protections increase

There is some immediate financial relief for some, however, as the government opened applications for emergency payments for those self-isolating and without an income on Wednesday. Eligible recipients will receive a one-time payment of $1,146 through an e-transfer.

The majority of Alberta's 419 cases are located in the Calgary zone. The number of cases by region:

  • Calgary zone: 250.
  • Edmonton zone: 100.
  • Central zone: 35.
  • North zone: 23.
  • South zone: 10.
  • Unknown: 1.

What you need to know today in Canada:

After a sitting that stretched into the night, the House of Commons approved a $107-billion aid package, up from an initial estimate of $82 billion, to help shore up the economy during the pandemic. The legislation is now before the Senate for approval. 

Just like in Alberta, there are concerns across the country about people's ability to cover rent or their mortgage, according to a recent poll

WATCH | Why soap is better than gloves as protection 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

While money is a big concern, so, too, is the outbreak spreading out of control, and some experts are warning that could be happening under our noses. Nearly half of all new cases across the country are now through community transmission from unknown sources. 

As of 4:30 p.m. ET Wednesday, there were more than 3,200 confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 in Canada, with 33 deaths and 187 cases listed by provinces as recovered or resolved. (Not all provinces are listing details about people who have recovered.) 

There has also been one COVID-19 related death of a Canadian reported abroad. Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's top public health officer, said a passenger of the Diamond Princess cruise ship died in Japan. 

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 | What to do if you're self-isolating at home for COVID-19:

You might choose to self-isolate at home if you’ve been exposed, or think you’ve been exposed, to COVID-19. Ellen Mauro explains what to do. 1:50

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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