'This has been one of the hardest days yet': Alberta registers five more deaths from COVID-19

Five people in Alberta died Monday from COVID-19, bringing the total in the province to eight so far.

Province reports 29 new cases on Monday to raise total to 690

'It's just a reminder of that human story within this global crisis'

3 years ago
Duration 1:51
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, comments on the five deaths from COVID-19 announced Monday in the province.

Five people died Monday from COVID-19, bringing the total in the province to eight so far.

"This has been one of the hardest days yet," Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province's chief medical officer of health, said Monday during a news conference in Edmonton. "Each death is tragedy, and this many in one day is heartbreaking."

The five people who died on Monday were:

  • a woman in her 70s from the Calgary zone;
  • a woman in her 50s from the Calgary zone;
  • two men in their 80s from the Edmonton zone, and;
  • a man in his 30s from the North zone.

"Although these individuals had risk factors like older age or chronic medical conditions, their lives mattered as much as any of ours," Hinshaw said. "Each of these individuals had a life that mattered and people who loved them."

The woman in her 70s was a resident at the McKenzie Towne Continuing Care Centre in southeast Calgary, where 36 residents and five staff are probable or confirmed cases.

The man in his 80s lived at Rosedale on the Park on 111th Street in Edmonton.

There were also two new cases reported at Shepherd's Care Kensington Village in Edmonton.

"These are worrying numbers," Hinshaw said. "We must redouble our efforts to protect those who are most vulnerable to the effects of this virus." 

The province reported 29 new cases on Monday, which came on top of 119 that were reported over the weekend, bringing the total to 690.

"While the number of confirmed cases in the last few days has been less than what we've seen previously, this is due to several factors," Hinshaw said. "We have stopped testing returning travellers, so we knew our daily positive numbers would go down.

"We have also had a decrease in the total daily tests in the lab over the past few days, given some challenges with lab-testing supplies."

Of the 690 cases, the majority are located in the Calgary zone. The total number by region:

  • Calgary zone: 422
  • Edmonton zone: 164
  • Central zone: 46
  • North zone: 45
  • South zone: 12
  • Not yet confirmed: 1

Up to 65 cases in the province are thought to have involved community transmission. Ninety-four people are listed as having recovered from the illness.

Last week, Alberta switched its testing priorities from people returning from travels outside Canada to people in high-risk populations, such as seniors and health-care workers.

Hinshaw said public health officials will be closely watching the numbers this week to gauge the impact of those changes on slowing the spread of the virus within Alberta.

COVID-19 update for Alberta and Saskatchewan for March 30 , 2020

3 years ago
Duration 14:57
The latest on the COVID-19 pandemic from Edmonton, Calgary and Saskatchewan

The province's chief medical officer also outlined new rules for people in mandatory self-isolation.

Anyone who is quarantined after returning from outside the country, or anyone who has been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, must remain on their own property, rented or owned, Hinshaw said.

Those people are only permitted to go outdoors on their deck, in their yard or on a balcony.

"Under no circumstances should you leave your property during the 14 days of self-isolation," she said. "This means that if you are under self-isolation, you can no longer go for walks in your neighbourhood or at the park until your self-isolation period ends.

"Do not have visitors over. Do not go to public areas and spaces or community settings. Arrange to have someone pick up essentials like groceries or medication for you.

"People who live in apartment buildings or highrises must stay inside their unit and cannot use the elevators or stairwells to go outside.

The rules apply to quarantined people who are feeling well and those who have symptoms of COVID-19.