Edmonton

Two Alberta COVID-19 patients admitted into intensive care as province announces 10 new coronavirus cases

Ten new cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed bringing the total to 39 cases in Alberta, including two that have been admitted to intensive care, Alberta's chief medical officer of health said Saturday.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases climbs to 39 in Alberta

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw spoke with media on Saturday from the Alberta Legislature. (CBC)

The province has announced new steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 including posting flight data online.

"We are asking for Albertans to help us by checking this information," Alberta's chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Saturday.

"Online flight information includes the flight number, date and any seats that might be at risk of exposure to COVID-19. At-risk passengers are encouraged to self isolate and monitor for symptoms for 14 days."

Ten new cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed in the past 24 hours bringing the total to 39 cases in Alberta, including two that have been admitted to intensive care, Hinshaw told a press conference Saturday. 

Dr. Deena Hinshaw said one of those cases is in Edmonton and the other is in Calgary.

Hinshaw said all of the other new cases are recovering in isolation.

Four new cases are in the Edmonton zone while six are in the Calgary zone.

Dr. Hinshaw says eight of the cases are travel-related while a public health investigation continues into two of the other new cases announced Saturday.

"These two cases that we have today are ones that we're really aggressively investigating," Dr. Hinshaw said. "It does raise a concern that these may be indicative of community spread."

From cancelling events to restrictions on public gatherings, the situation in Alberta has changed dramatically since the province's first case was confirmed on March 5. As of Friday, there were 29 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the province. 

The province will also be updating data online now and will only do major updates when necessary.

Dr. Hinshaw also said that they are having on-going conversations with the school boards around the province and a closure, if necessary, could last until the fall.

"Evidence around the effectiveness of school closures as a means to mitigate spread indicates that closures need to go on for about eight to 12 weeks," Dr. Hinshaw said.

"I believe we will continue to see new cases. So, if we do choose to close schools ... I don't believe that that risk, in terms of the spread in the community, will reduce substantially within a matter of weeks. I think we would be looking at school closures until the end of the school year."

All travellers arriving back to Canada have been asked to self isolate and monitor for symptoms for two weeks. 

Dr. Hinshaw encouraged everyone to practice the new normal and stay home when sick.