Calgary

What you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Thursday, March 26

There are outbreaks in several care facilities in Edmonton and Calgary, and the province has enacted new rules to try to prevent the spread as the virus continues to wreak havoc on lives and industry.

New rules announced as virus starts to infiltrate care homes in the province

There are new rules in place for care homes in Alberta as the coronavirus spreads. (CBC)

The latest:

What you need to know today in Alberta:

The virus has started infiltrating seniors' homes in the province, raising serious concerns for a segment of the population that is at extreme risk from COVID-19. There has already been one death and there's now an outbreak in the southeast Calgary facility where that death occurred. 

Two seniors' care homes in Edmonton — Shepherd's Care Kensington Village and Rosedale on the Park — have confirmed cases, and Nelson Home, a care facility for adults with developmental disabilities in Calgary, has three confirmed cases. 

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That news comes as Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province's chief medical officer of health, announced new rules for seniors' care homes, including enhanced cleaning, new policies for shared spaces and mandatory health screening for all staff, residents and visitors. 

In midst of the pandemic, industries continue to struggle and fret. Canada's agriculture industry is warning of higher prices and potential food shortages if it isn't designated an essential service and allowed to carry on business as usual during the outbreak. 

Beyond essential services, the province's film industry is reeling from a complete shut down, putting thousands of jobs and millions of dollars on the line. 

As of Thursday, the majority of the cases in Alberta are located in the Calgary zone. By region, the number of cases:

  • Calgary zone: 300.
  • Edmonton zone: 111.
  • Central zone: 37.
  • North zone: 26.
  • South zone: 12.

What you need to know today in Canada:

Travellers entering Canada are now required to self-isolate for 14 days and could face penalties, or even jail time, if they do not comply. There can be some exceptions for health-care workers and truckers. 

On Wednesday, the federal government merged two previous programs into one in an attempt to quickly get money into the hands of Canadians who are losing income due to the pandemic. 

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The Canada Emergency Response Benefit will provide eligible workers $2,000 a month for four months. 

As of 6:30 p.m. ET Thursday, there were more than 4,000 confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 in Canada, with 39 deaths and 225 cases listed as recovered or resolved. (Not all provinces are listing details about recoveries.) One Canadian has also died abroad, in Japan. 

A Canadian has died abroad, in Japan. Dr. Theresa Tam, the chief public health officer of Canada, said the COVID-19 related death was an individual who had been a passenger on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was an early hot spot for 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. 

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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 from onset for 10 days — or longer if the illness persists. 

You can find Alberta Health Services' latest coronavirus updates here.

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