What you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Wednesday, October 7

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  • 276 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Alberta on Tuesday, the highest number of days since the pandemic peaked in April.
  • That brings the province to a total of 1,900 active cases, up 117 from the previous day. At the peak in late April, there were nearly 3,000 active cases in the province.
  • The Edmonton area reached its highest number of active cases, reporting 1,063 cases on Tuesday, up from 982 on Monday.
  • Dr Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, warned Monday that additional measures may be needed to reduce the rate of transmission in Edmonton. Hinshaw is holding his next press conference on Thursday.
  • Another person in the province, a 70-year-old woman in the Calgary area, has died.
  • In Alberta’s largest active outbreak, at Calgary’s Foothills Medical Center, eight people have died and 80 people have tested positive for COVID-19. A total of 311 health workers had to self-isolate at some point during the outbreak, starting Tuesday.

A total of 80 cases are now linked to COVID-19 outbreaks at Foothills Medical Center in Calgary: 42 patients, 33 healthcare workers and five visitors. (Alberta Health Services)

  • There are now 319 cases in 149 schools out of more than 2,400 schools in the province, as of Tuesday.
  • A total of 66 schools are classified as outbreaks, meaning two or more cases, and four more schools have been added to the watchlist, bringing the total to 14. Surveillance is declared when five or more cases where the disease may have been contracted or transmitted within the school.
  • A Calgary school, the School of the Wild Rose, will put all students online after four cases of COVID-19 were confirmed by AHS.
  • On Tuesday, the city of Calgary joined the province in saying it is not canceling Halloween, but has issued a number of tips to help people mark the holiday safely.
  • Doctors and governments say the COVID-19 pandemic is making the flu vaccine more important than ever. The flu shot won’t be available to the general public in Alberta until Oct. 19, but pharmacies say appointments to get the flu shot in the first two weeks are filling up quickly.
  • Quebec has joined the COVID Alert application, leaving British Columbia and Alberta as the only remaining provinces with no immediate plans to activate the digital tool.

What you need to know today in Alberta:

Edmonton’s case numbers are the worst they’ve ever been and – without further caution – community infection rates could rise rapidly, warns an infectious disease specialist.

The capital region is seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases and Dr. Lynora Saxinger – associate professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Alberta – says Edmontonians should be worried.

Grades 6 and 9 students in the Calgary Catholic School District will not be required to take provincial achievement tests this year after the province gave school authorities discretion to cancel them due to the pandemic.

And in the capital, Edmonton public schools will ask the province to suspend diploma exams for high school students in the 2020-2021 school year, the council unanimously agreed at a meeting. Tuesday.

Board administrators said requiring students to take provincially administered tests would add pressure to an already stressful learning environment in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hinshaw said Monday that one of the factors leading to the increase in the number in Edmonton is that some people – 11% of active cases – are attending work or social gatherings while awaiting test results.

“I want to be clear. If you are sick you have to stay home, ”she says.

She urged people for Thanksgiving dinners to be mindful and continue to take precautions, lest the time for celebrations take a dangerous turn.

“It’s not a normal Thanksgiving. I urge you to limit your gatherings only to members of your household and cohort, no more. I ask you to keep gatherings as small as possible, eat out if possible and not share serving spoons or dishes, ”she said.

“If you’re even mildly ill, don’t go to a Thanksgiving event or host one at your home. The biggest tragedy would be for Thanksgiving dinner to turn into an opportunity for COVID to spread to our loved ones, potentially with serious consequences. Let’s celebrate everything we’re grateful for by protecting each other, without taking any risks. ”

And if you’re wondering how to handle another holiday this year, Halloween, the City of Calgary posted some tips on Tuesday, echoing those posted by the province last week, on how to cheat, give candy or to safely celebrate the holidays in a non-traditional way.

You can find a roundup of Halloween tips and ideas from the province, city, and creative members of the public here.

The flu vaccine will be made available to the general public for the first time on October 19. People can get it through their doctor or at a pharmacy. Some pharmacies say they have already made appointments within the first week or two weeks of availability. Alberta Health Services will offer vaccines in clinics through pre-booked appointments for children under five. and their family and household members.

It will first be released to high-risk Albertans, including those in long-term care and the homeless, starting October 13. In addition, for the first time, Alberta will offer a high-dose influenza vaccine to long-term seniors. long-term care facilities.

Hinshaw assured Albertans last week that the province ordered a record number of doses of the flu vaccine – 1.96 million doses, 20% more than last year – due to the expected increase in demand due to COVID-19.

A total of 61 people are hospitalized and 13 are in intensive care on Tuesday. Laboratories have now performed 1,442,603 ​​tests on 1,078,066 Albertans.

Here is the regional breakdown of active cases reported on Tuesday:

  • Zone d’Edmonton: 1,063, up 81 from Monday.
  • Calgary area: 645, up to 21.
  • North zone: 99, down 6.
  • South zone: 61, up to 14.
  • Central areas: 26, up to 4.
  • Unknown: 6, up to 3.

(CBC)

An overview of active cases by neighborhood in Calgary as of October 6. (CBC)

Find out which neighborhoods or communities have the most cases, how badly people of different ages have been affected, the ages of those hospitalized, how Alberta compares to other provinces and more: Here are the latest COVID-19 statistics for Alberta – and what they mean

What you need to know today in Canada:

At 8:45 a.m. ET as of Wednesday, Canada had 171,323 confirmed or suspected cases of the coronavirus. Provinces and territories have listed 143,994 of them as recovered or resolved. A CBC News death tally based on provincial reports, regional health news and CBC reporting stood at 9,530.

Contact tracing efforts are stepping up in a bid to reduce skyrocketing transmission rates in some of Canada’s COVID-19 hotspots, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledging more federal support and Quebec becoming the latest province to join the COVID Alert app.

Despite high-profile corporate discounts at the start of the pandemic, rates for new auto insurance policies have risen during COVID-19 and are expected to increase even more soon, a new report suggests.

According to financial technology firm LowestRates.ca, the cost of auto insurance climbed between April and June for most drivers in the market for a new policy in areas of the country where rates are not heavily regulated.

Some Americans continue to defy the rules by making side trips when crossing Canada to or from Alaska, despite tough measures introduced in July to end it.

In August, the BC RCMP convicted half a dozen Americans in two separate incidents for leaving the road while hiking. The tickets totaled $ 4,500 in fines and in one case the RCMP escorted a family of five out of Canada.

Canadians can now apply through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for a new sick leave benefit and a new caregiver benefit for those forced to take time off work to care for. a dependent due to the pandemic.

The benefits come after the law creating them was rushed by the House of Commons last week. Bill C-4 replaced the now defunct Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) of $ 500 per week, which ended after helping nearly nine million Canadians overcome the effects of the pandemic.

Canadians have made more than 830,000 repayments of emergency assistance benefits for COVID-19 to which they were not entitled – a statistic that some say reflects massive confusion about fast-track federal programs.

Figures provided to CBC News by the Canada Revenue Agency include reimbursements for recipients of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and the Canada Student Emergency Benefit (CESG).

Self-assessment and support:

Alberta Health Services has an online self-assessment tool you can use to determine if you have symptoms of COVID-19, but testing is open to anyone, even without symptoms.

The province says Albertans who have returned to Canada from other countries must isolate themselves. Unless your situation is critical and requires a call to 911, Albertans are advised to call Health Link at 811 before visiting a doctor, hospital or other health care facility.

If you have symptoms, even mild ones, you should self-isolate for at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms, until the symptoms are gone.

You can find the latest coronavirus updates from Alberta Health Services here.

The province also operates a confidential mental health support line at 1-877-303-2642 and an addictions helpline at 1-866-332-2322, both available 24 hours a day.

Online resources are available for advice on dealing with stressful situations and how to talk with children.

A Family Violence Information Line is available 24 hours a day at 310-1818 for anonymous help in over 170 languages, and Alberta’s One Line for Sexual Violence is available at 1-866-403 -8000, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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