COVID-19 cases down in Alberta for 4th consecutive day

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The number of new COVID-19 cases in Alberta fell for the fourth consecutive day on Tuesday, with 57 new cases added to the total.

The province has also reported two other deaths from the disease, bringing the total to 106. The total number of cases now stands at 5,893.

The number of active cases fell Tuesday to 2,568, against 2,790 the day before.

Many Albertans who follow the daily newspaper in the province are probably wondering if four consecutive days of declining numbers show a trend.

Here’s what the case numbers looked like last week.

  • Wednesday April 29, 315 new cases
  • Thursday April 30 190 new cases
  • Friday May 1, 218 new cases
  • Saturday May 2, 97 new cases
  • Sunday May 3, 96 new cases
  • Monday May 4, 70 new cases
  • Tuesday May 5, 57 new cases

Test capacity to double

Alberta health services announced Tuesday that it will spend $ 4.5 million on new equipment and technology to more than double the province’s ability to test the coronavirus. The investment, partially funded by a $ 1.7 million contribution from the Calgary Health Trust, will bring the maximum number of daily tests to 16,000 from 7,000 currently.

“Testing is an essential part of our province’s response to COVID-19 and it is essential to our province’s recovery strategy,” said Health Minister Tyler Shandro at a press conference.

“Our decisions regarding the reopening of businesses and the resumption of activities require us to have the most precise and detailed information possible. The tests provide us with data that will inform our decisions as a province, so that restrictions are lifted at each of the three stages of our recovery strategy. we can quickly assess the impact and adapt as needed. ”

In addition to more testing, the province aims to shorten the time it takes to find the contacts of people who test positive for the virus.

Sandro said he signed a ministerial decree on Tuesday increasing the number of health practitioners who can help with contact tracing.

Currently, only community health nurses or senior managers are allowed to do contact tracing for those who tested positive for COVID-19 and to assess whether or not they should be tested.

The need has exceeded the ability of Alberta’s health services to recruit contact tracers, said Shandro.

The work can now be performed by chiropractors, paramedics, respiratory therapists, physiotherapists, psychiatric nurses, licensed practical nurses, pharmacists and dental hygienists.

They will receive training before assuming this role and will be supervised, said Shandro.

Coughing against the police

Shandro said he also signed a ministerial decree on Monday authorizing the release of the COVID-19 test results to police in cases where officers deliberately put someone at risk by coughing or spitting on them and claiming that they have the disease.

“Unfortunately, this is something that we intend to meet with first responders in our province as part of their duties,” said Shandro.

“We take privacy seriously, but we will not allow our frontline workers to be endangered in this way while they work to keep the rest of us in this province safe.”

Monitor your mental health

The Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, has warned the public to remain vigilant about adhering to public health orders and physical removal guidelines, even though some aspects of society are starting to reopen.

Hinshaw spoke about mental health issues at his press conference on Tuesday.

In some regions of the world affected by COVID-19 before Alberta, polls have shown that about half of the respondents reported moderate to severe anxiety. According to her, up to 20% of cases have reported depression.

Anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions are likely to become widespread in Alberta, said Hinshaw.

“While it is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic can have a far greater and potentially more lasting negative psychosocial impact than the medical impact on Albertans, and although additional supports are in place, and others are coming In support of those affected, mental health remains a problem that many have a hard time talking about, ”she said.

“It can make it difficult to find support. “

“Stress can wreak havoc”

She said that people who are having difficulty may find it difficult to ask for help. “I challenge all of us today to try to connect proactively with our loved ones and ask how they feel instead of waiting for them to get closer,” she said. .

“We need to speak openly and honestly about these problems and how they affect us. I am fortunate to have a support family to rely on during a difficult time for me, both personally and professionally. Long hours and increased stress can have negative consequences. . ”

She said that the mental health help line and the addiction help line run by Alberta health services have increased the ability to respond to calls.

The number is 1-877-303-2642.

In the past two months, Alberta has reported 106 deaths from COVID-19 and a total of 5,836 cases.

Of this total, 2,568 are considered active cases while 3,219 people have recovered from the disease.

The distribution of business on Tuesday was as follows:

  • Calgary Zone: 3,957
  • South zone: 1094
  • Edmonton area: 502
  • North Zone: 221
  • Central area: 89
  • Unknown: 30

Three Alberta meat packing plants are plagued by outbreaks. On Tuesday, 949 workers at the Cargill meat packing plant in High River tested positive for COVID-19, including 810 people who recovered.

At the JBS plant in Brooks, there were 487 cases, while the Harmony plant in Balzac recorded 36, one third of which were symptom-free.

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