Cases are rising in the Edmonton Zone, residents should follow new recommendations to stop the spread. All Albertans should continue acting responsibly: keep your distance, limit your cohorts, monitor your symptoms, stay home if sick and get tested.
Cases in Alberta
(323 on Oct. 19)
|In intensive care**||16|
(13,003 on Oct. 19)
COVID-19 status map
As Alberta reopens, some regions may need to put additional measures in place to address local outbreaks. Learn more about the regional relaunch status in your area and sign up to be notified if there is a change in your area.
Help prevent the spread
All Albertans have a responsibility to help prevent the spread. Take steps to protect yourself and others:
- practice physical distancing and wear a mask in public
- practice good hygiene: wash hands often for at least 20 seconds, use hand sanitizer, cover coughs and sneezes, and avoid touching face
- monitor for symptoms: cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose or sore throat
- self-isolate for the legally-required 10 days if you have any symptoms that are not related to a pre-existing illness or medical condition
- take the COVID-19 self-assessment to access testing
Last updated: Aug 12
Wear a mask
Albertans are encouraged to wear non-medical masks in public when it's difficult to maintain physical distancing of 2 metres at all times.
Wearing a homemade or non-medical mask is another tool to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. It hasn’t been proven that masks protect the person wearing it, but it can help protect the people around you.
Last updated: Aug 12
Follow mandatory isolation requirements
Isolation can help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Under public health order, you are legally required to isolate for:
- 10 days if you have a cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose, or sore throat that is not related to a pre-existing illness or health condition
- 14 days if you returned to or entered Alberta from outside Canada or are a close contact of a person with COVID-19, plus an additional 10 days from the onset of symptoms, should they occur
Last updated: October 1
Limit gathering sizes and cohorts
Events and gatherings can be larger in Stage 2:
- 50 people maximum: indoor social gatherings, including wedding and funeral receptions
- 200 people maximum for audience-type community outdoor events, such as festivals, firework displays, rodeos and sporting events, and outdoor performances
- 100 people maximum for other outdoor events and indoor seated/audience events, including wedding ceremonies, funeral services, movie theatres, indoor arts and culture performances and other indoor spectator events where people remain seated
- No cap on the number of people (with public health measures in place):
- worship gatherings
- restaurant, cafes, lounges and bars
- casinos and bingo halls
‘Cohort’ groups have more flexibility – these are small groups of people whose members do not always keep 2 metres apart:
- core household cohorts can increase their close interactions with other households, up to 15 people
- performers can have a cohort of up to 50 people (cast members or performers)
- sports teams can play in region-only cohorts of up to 50 players (mini leagues)
- child care programs can form a cohort of up to 30 people (children and staff)
You should only belong to one core household cohort. It is safest to limit the number of other cohorts you belong to to reduce the risk of getting sick or spreading COVID-19.
Last updated: Aug 12
- An official global travel advisory is in effect. Avoid all non-essential travel outside Canada and all cruise ship travel.
- Returning travellers must:
- follow mandatory 14-day isolation requirements
- check recent domestic and international flights for confirmed cases
- monitor for symptoms
Travel between provinces
- Travellers may be subject to additional restrictions and health measures at their final destination. Please check with local authorities before leaving.
Travel within Alberta
- Responsible travel within Alberta is permitted.
- Physical distancing and gathering restrictions still apply
Get immunized to prevent influenza
All Albertans over 6 months old should get an influenza immunization (flu shot) this year. It won't prevent COVID-19, but it will reduce your chances of getting sick with the flu or spreading it to others.
By keeping influenza counts low, we can:
- make sure our health care system has capacity to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic
- let health care workers focus on treating people with other illnesses and injuries
- reduce outbreaks in care facilities
The vaccine is available free of charge to all Albertans starting October 19.
Monitor your symptoms
COVID-19 symptoms can be mild and are similar to influenza and other respiratory illnesses.
- Core symptoms: cough, fever (over 38°C), shortness of breath, runny nose or sore throat.
- Other symptoms: stuffy nose, painful swallowing, headache, chills, muscle or joint aches, feeling unwell in general, new fatigue or severe exhaustion, gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or unexplained loss of appetite), loss of sense of smell or taste, conjunctivitis (pink eye).
- Symptom of serious illness: difficulty breathing or pneumonia.
Last updated: October 1
Get tested if sick or at risk
Testing is available for Albertans with symptoms, and anyone who has no symptoms but is a close contact of a confirmed case or linked to an outbreak. This will reduce testing wait times and speed up access to results.
Priority testing is available to:
- any person exhibiting any symptom of COVID-19
- all close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases
- all workers and/or residents at specific outbreak sites
Asymptomatic testing pause
Starting October 20, 2020, we are pausing asymptomatic testing for those with no COVID-19 exposure.
Pharmacies will no longer book new patients for asymptomatic testing. Pharmacies may honour tests that have been booked between now and November 4, 2020.
Alberta Health Services will continue to provide asymptomatic testing to close contacts of a confirmed case or individuals linked to an outbreak.
Last updated: October 20
Assess your severe health risk
COVID-19 can cause serious respiratory illness. Because it is a new virus with no treatment or immunity in people, it is important for people with any symptoms to stay home and isolate to keep it from spreading.
Most people – about 80% – recover without needing special treatment. However, it can cause serious illness in some, and there is a risk of death in severe cases.
While we are still learning about COVID-19, serious illness appears to develop more often in people who are older or have pre-existing conditions.
There is no vaccine or proven treatment for COVID-19 at this time. The virus is new and different, so needs its own vaccine – which researchers around the world are now working to develop.
Supportive care is being used to treat patients with COVID-19 and some medications are being tested to see if they can help severely ill patients.
Last updated: April 3 at 3:30 pm
How it spreads
COVID-19 is transmitted though tiny droplets of liquid produced by people who have the virus.
These droplets spread by:
- coughing, sneezing, talking, laughing, and singing
- touching objects or surfaces the virus has landed on and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth (bath towels, kitchen utensils, door knobs, etc.)
People who have COVID-19 can spread it to others before they start to feel sick.
COVID-19 is not widely spread by being airborne, which means it doesn’t stay in the air long and won’t go very far. But if you are too close to someone with COVID-19 you can get sick by breathing in air that contains droplets with the virus.
We think the virus generally only survives for a few hours on a surface or object, but it may be possible for it to survive several days under some conditions.
Last updated: July 8 at 10:30 am
COVID-19 vs. Influenza
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause respiratory illness in people, ranging from mild common colds to severe illnesses.
Novel coronaviruses, like COVID-19, are new strains of the virus that have not been previously identified in humans. This means people have no immunity against it, and it has no vaccine or proven treatment.
COVID-19 vs. Flu
In some ways, COVID-19 is similar to influenza (also known as the flu), but there are also key differences.
- Both cause respiratory disease.
- Both are spread by small droplets from the nose and mouth.
- Neither is spread through the air over long distances and times.
- COVID-19 does not have a specific vaccine or treatment available.
- COVID-19 does not appear to transmit as efficiently as influenza:
- mainly people with symptoms seem to be spreading the disease, but asymptomatic transmission is possible and symptoms may be very mild, so transmission is possible even if the person is feeling well
- controlling its spread is possible when people with symptoms are isolated
- COVID-19 causes severe disease and mortality in more cases than the flu. On average:
- COVID-19 has resulted in 1 to 2 deaths per 100 cases
- Flu results in 1 death in every 1,000 flu cases
Because COVID-19 can cause serious illness, it is critical to keep it from spreading by having people with symptoms follow mandatory isolation requirements.
Last updated: July 15
Mental health and addiction
The COVID-19 pandemic can have a significant impact on mental health.
Online resources are available if you need advice on handling stressful situations or ways to talk to children.
- Help in Tough Times (AHS)
- Mental health and coping with COVID-19 (CDC)
- Talking with children about COVID-19 (CDC)
- COVID-19 information for young kids and students (PDF, 122 KB)
If you need to talk, call the 24-hour help lines:
Family and sexual violence
If you or someone you know is at risk of family or sexual violence, help is available.
- Call our 24-hour Family Violence Info Line at 310-1818 to get anonymous help in over 170 languages.
Chat live online with the Family Violence Info Line for support in English (8 am – 8 pm)
- Alberta’s One Line for Sexual Violence can provide assistance in finding sexual assault support services (9 am – 9 pm daily):
Child neglect and abuse
The Consumer Protection Act prevents suppliers from grossly raising prices with no explanation beyond what is reasonable for goods that are readily available. Unlike commercial sales, the act does not explicitly cover private sales. Act with consideration and caution.
File a consumer complaint
If you see prices for products or services skyrocket because of COVID-19, you can report it through our Report-a-Ripoff submission form or by calling 1-877-427-4088.
Cyber security incidents involving malware and fraudulent activities, including identity theft, are being reported across Alberta in the wake of COVID-19.
- Anyone who receives a call asking for credit card information should hang up immediately and call the non-emergency line for local law enforcement.
- Albertans are encouraged to continue to exercise caution when clicking on links or providing personal information to people and organizations that request that information, unsolicited.
Banks and credit unions
Alberta credit unions
- Credit union members will have access to a variety of programs and solutions designed to ease difficulties with loan payments and short-term cash flow. Contact your credit union to work out a plan for your personal situation.
ATB Financial customers
- Personal banking customers can apply for a deferral on their ATB loans, lines of credit and mortgages for up to 6 months.
Education property tax freeze
Residential education property tax rates will be frozen at last year’s level – reversing the 3.4% population and inflation increase added in Budget 2020. This will save households $55 million.
Federal government programs
Albertans may be eligible for financial supports through the federal government:
- Employment Insurance sickness benefits: Provides up to 15 weeks of income replacement if unable to work due to illness, injury or isolation.
- Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB): Provides up to $2,000 a month.
- AISH and Income Support recipients can exempt a portion without affecting their benefits
- Canada Child Benefit: Eligible parents received $300 more per child with their May payment.
- GST Rebate increase: Provided a one-time special payment in May of up to $400 for single people and $600 for couples.
- Eased rules for Registered Retirement Income Funds
Info for vulnerable Albertans and other organizations
Nearly one million Albertans act as caregivers for loved ones experiencing challenges related to illness, disability or aging. These caregivers need support too.
Charities and not-for-profit organizations
$30 million has been provided to charities, non-profits and civil society organizations to support their COVID-19 response.
More information on emergency funding for charities and not-for-profit organizations.
Last updated: Aug 12
Disability service providers
Disability service providers play an essential role in supporting people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For more information see COVID-19 information for disability service providers.
Currently, evidence does not suggest:
- being pregnant increases your risk of getting COVID-19 or having serious complications
- COVID-19 is transmitted to your baby during pregnancy, delivery or through breastmilk
However, there is always an increased risk of preterm or stillbirth with any significant maternal illness.
Talk to your health care provider if you have questions or are worried about leaving your home to attend appointments.
If you aren’t feeling well, take the online assessment to arrange testing
For more information, read the AHS COVID-19 and Pregnancy guide.
Worship leaders may continue to hold worship services remotely, but can now offer in-person services with no cap on attendance, as long as physical distancing of 2 metres is maintained between families and household cohorts.
Congregational singing is a high-risk activity and is discouraged.
For more information, see guidance for places of worship (available in multiple languages)
Last updated: Aug 12
Homeless shelters and service providers
Shelters and temporary or transitional housing facilities provide an essential service in Alberta during this time.
- These facilities are exempt from the mass gathering public health order and may provide shelter to more than 50 people – as long as risk mitigation strategies are followed, including maintaining a minimum of 2 metres distance from one another.
- All non-essential gatherings inside these facilities must include no more than 50 people.
- For more information, read:
We are working with community-based organizations, homeless shelters and women’s shelters to:
- update pandemic plans with guidelines and information specific to COVID-19
- expand shelter capacity and help current service providers to maintain physical distancing practices by finding additional space to house people
$30 million has been committed to adult homeless shelters and women’s emergency shelters to support their COVID-19 response.
Last updated: Aug 12
Seniors and congregate care residents
Government issued public health orders to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19, among seniors and vulnerable groups for the following settings:
- Long-term care facilities
- Licensed supportive living facilities, including seniors lodges and group homes
- Licensed residential addiction treatment centres (under the Mental Health Services Protection Act)
Last updated: April 15 at 5:35 pm
Volunteers play many important roles in communities across our province.
Volunteers and volunteer organizations must follow all necessary precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to protect themselves and those they help.
- Volunteers and employees may work together at distances of less than 2 metres, where unavoidable.
- Volunteer organizations must take actions to prevent the transmission of infection among employees, volunteers and the people they are helping.
- Proper hygiene and cleaning practices must be followed within the volunteer organization.
- Any employee or volunteer with symptoms, including cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose, or sore throat, is required by law to isolate and may not participate in volunteer or workplace activities.
Information for non-health care volunteers (PDF, 43 KB)
Schools and daycares
Child care and preschools
- Licensed daycare, out-of-school and preschool programs are now able to open as part of Alberta's Relaunch Strategy.
- Operations must resume with increased infection prevention and control measures to minimize the risk of increased transmission of infections.
- Providers must follow guidance for safely reopening.
Last updated: Aug 12
- Students will return to daily in-school classes in September under scenario 1- near normal operations with health measures
- Mask use for grade 4 to 12 students, and all school staff, will be mandatory where physical distancing cannot be maintained, including on school buses.
- Public health guidelines for scenario 1, a parents’ guide and a re-entry plan provide details on measures to reduce the risk of infection at schools
- The measures include enhanced cleaning, increased hand hygiene, staying home when sick, and physical distancing when possible
- Parents and students can prepare for what to expect in the upcoming school year by checking out the return to school tool kit
Last updated: Aug 4 at 9:30 am
In-person classes may resume with restrictions.
Contact your post-secondary institution, or visit their website, for more information on course delivery for this fall.
Last updated: Sep 2
Public health actions
Alberta’s public health officials are carefully monitoring the situation in Canada and around the world. They are:
- working closely with federal, provincial and territorial partners to share information and assess potential health risks
- ensuring our health system is responding effectively
- ensuring front-line health professionals have information about the virus so they can:
- take recommended actions
- promptly report potential cases to public health officials
- updating isolation and self-monitoring recommendations for returning travellers as required
- tracing all close contacts of confirmed cases, testing and isolating those who are symptomatic, and asking even those who feel well to isolate for 14 days after their last contact with the case
- granting law enforcement the authority to enforce public health orders and issue fines to anyone violating a public health order
- protecting Albertans in congregate care facilities by updating standards and guidelines
- making testing available to all Albertans with COVID-19 symptoms (cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose or sore throat)
Updated: April 15 at 11 am
Support the Alberta Bits and Pieces Program
Submit your offers of products or services to the Alberta Bits and Pieces Program if you're interested in supporting the COVID-19 response.
If there is a requirement for your product or service, you will be contacted directly.
The program is named after the “bits and pieces program” established by Canada’s Minister of Munitions and Supply during the Second World War, C. D. Howe. The program coordinated innovative production and procurement efforts from across the Canadian economy to support the war effort.
Article: How to vacation during COVID (August 12, 2020)
Regular updates from Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health.
Protecting families and the economy
- Update 132: COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (October 20)
- Update 131: COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (October 16)
- Update 130: COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (October 13)
- Update 129: COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (October 8)
- Update 128: COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (October 5)
- Update 127: COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (October 1)
- Update 126: COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (September 28)
- Update 125: COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (September 24)
- Update 124: COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (September 21)
- Update 123: COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (September 17)
- Update 122: COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (September 14)
- Flu shots now available across Alberta (October 19)
- Made-in-Calgary masks to help protect Albertans (October 7)
- Putting Alberta on the front lines fighting COVID-19 (September 28)
- Opioid surveillance report: Associate Minister Luan (September 23)
- COVID-19 scheduled surgery backlog cut by 88 per cent (September 11)
- UPDATE: Federal education funding for COVID-19 (September 2)
- Update on PPE for schools: Minister Allard and Minister LaGrange (August 28)
- Expanding COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic Albertans | Un plus grand nombre de tests de dépistage de la COVID-19 pour les Albertains et Albertaines asymptomatiques (August 18)
- Masks for schools procurement: Minister LaGrange (August 8)