Total at 39: Chief medical health officer says 10 new COVID-19 cases in Alberta

Dr. Deena Hinshaw said six of the new cases were in the Calgary area and four were in Edmonton

Alberta’s chief medical health officer confirmed 10 more cases of COVID-19 in the province on Saturday, saying two of the patients were in intensive care.

The new cases bring the total to 39.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw said six of the new cases were in the Calgary area and four were in Edmonton. The two in intensive care are both in their 60s, while the other patients were in isolation at home and are expected to make a full recovery.

Eight of the new cases have been confirmed to be related to travel or to a previously confirmed case.

Hinshaw said health officials are “aggressively investigating” to determine how the other two people became infected with the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

About 3,000 people had taken an online self-assessment test brought in on Friday to ease pressure on the province’s 811 HealthLink dial-in number, she said.

Hinshaw said she understands that many Albertans are alarmed as more cases keep arising, but cautioned new instances of the virus are likely to continue for months. She again urged people not to travel and said it’s “critically important” that anyone feeling even mild cold symptoms stay home.

Hinshaw expanded on her statement from Friday that schools and daycares would remain open. She said she held a conference call Saturday with more than 500 representatives from Alberta’s school boards, school authorities and with education stakeholders.

“We know parents, students, and school officials are very concerned,” she said.

“Alberta continues to monitor the province’s situation carefully. If the situation warrants it, the Alberta government could direct the closure of an individual school, a group of schools, an entire school division, or all schools in the province,” she said.

“We are prepared to make changes if and when the situation warrants it.”

Hinshaw noted that the World Health Organization does not recommend school closures as the only way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in children. She also said if schools were to close in Alberta, it would probably be for longer than a few weeks.

“What we know is 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. And I believe we will continue to see new cases, so if we do choose to close schools … I think we would be looking at school closures to the end of the school year.”

Hinshaw said guidelines now online for schools include a zero-tolerance policy. Any children with cold-like symptoms — including but not limited to fever — are to be sent home with their parents. She also urged parents not to send their kids to school if they have the sniffles.

The Canadian Press


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

LACOMBE EXPRESS: A Message From the Publisher

In good times and bad the Lacombe Express is here to provide valuable, trustworthy information

Non-profits that are helping people impacted by COVID-19 can apply for relief funding

Red Deer and District FCSS can draw from a provincial pot of $30 million

No Alberta renter will be evicted for non-payment on April 1, promises the premier

No evictions during the entire Alberta public health emergency

UPDATE: How COVID-19 is impacting Lacombe and area

Precautions, advisories, and cancelled community events

VIDEO: 17 COVID-19 cases in central Alberta

March 23 update from Dr. Hinshaw

A message from Central Alberta Co-op

Please remember to practice social distancing at all our locations.

Evening world update: U.S. restrictions extended 30 days; NY deaths near 1,000

Comprehensive world update, with the latest developments in the COVID-19 crisis

Vaccine not expected until January 2021 for COVID-19, video posted on Alberta premier’s Facebook page shows

Premier Jason Kenney and Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw discuss vaccines

COVID-19: Third Albertan dies, 46 cases in central zone

Province total as of Sunday: 661 cases

‘Worse than any flu’: Canadians describe how it feels to have COVID-19

“I woke up with a little scratch in my throat and started trying to cough it up”

Feds rolling out help for charities hit hard by COVID-19 economic slowdown

Most Canadians are entering the third week of a COVID-19 slowdown

Red Deer: Put a bear in your window so kids can count them

Red Deer woman wants kids to go on ‘bear hunt’

Most Read