Mandatory public health measures remain in place across the province. Step 2 restriction changes for indoor fitness and libraries came into effect March 1.
COVID-19 resources are available in Af-Soomaali, Arabic, 中文, हिंदी, 한국어, ਪੰਜਾਬੀ, Español, Français, Tagalog, Tiếng Việt and Urdu on alberta.ca/CovidTranslated.
Cases in Alberta
Due to system upgrades, only preliminary, summary case information will be provided on March 7. Full numbers will be provided the following day on March 8.
March 7 preliminary update:
- 300 additional cases, including 54 new variant of concern cases
- 8,100 laboratory tests completed
- 290,391 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered
March 6 update: the information below is accurate as of end-of-day March 5.
- 135,537 Total cases
- 341 Cases on March 5
- 128,974 Recovered cases
- 1,914 Deaths
- 4,649 Active cases*
- 247 In hospital
- 42 In intensive care**
- 3,462,799 Total tests completed
- 8,142 Tests on March 5
- 1,834,591 People tested
- 282,674 Vaccine doses as of March 5
Updated March 6. Numbers are current as of end-of-day March 5.
*Active cases include both community cases and hospitalizations. **ICU cases are a subset of those in hospital.
Help prevent the spread
All Albertans have a responsibility to help prevent the spread. Take steps to protect yourself and others:
- practice physical distancing
- wear a mask - they're mandatory in all indoor public spaces, workplaces and places of worship
- 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
- isolate for the legally-required 10 days if you have any symptoms or 14 days if you're a close contact of someone with COVID-19
- take the COVID-19 self-assessmentto get tested
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.
Alberta is monitoring for COVID-19 variants that appear to spread more easily than the original COVID-19 strain.
Symptoms in variant cases are the same as usual COVID-19 symptoms, including cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose, and sore throat.
People infected with or exposed to the variant will have to take additional steps to prevent spreading it to household members and may need to quarantine for longer periods of time.
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
Isolate or quarantine if required
Isolation can help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Public health orders require you to:
- isolate for 10 days minimum if you have tested positive for COVID-19
- isolate for 10 days if you have any core symptom that is not related to a pre-existing illness or health condition: cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose* or sore throat*
- isolation period is for 10 days from the start of symptoms, or until symptoms resolve, whichever takes longer
- proof of a negative COVID-19 test and/or a medical note is not required to return to school/work/activities once the isolation period is complete
- quarantine for 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
*Children under 18 are exempt from mandatory isolation for runny nose or sore throat but should stay home until well.
Last updated: December 21
Assess your risk of severe illness
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 proven treatment for COVID-19 at this time. Supportive care is being used to treat patients with COVID-19 and some medications are being tested to see if they help severely ill patients.
Last updated: Dec. 9
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
Working Parents Benefit
Starting March 1, working parents can receive a one-time payment of $561 per child if they paid for child care for at least 3 months between April and December 2020. Apply by March 31.
Critical Worker Benefit
Get $1,200 for serving on the frontlines during the pandemic. Eligible Albertans include health, social services, core retail and supply chain workers.
Care Provider and Operator Funding
This funding is for care providers and operators of non-contracted licensed supportive living and both contracted and non-contracted home care, hospices and residential addiction and mental health treatment centres. This funding will help operators pay for increased staffing, additional cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment.
Individuals and families
Financial support programs are available to help people experiencing unemployment and those who cannot work because they are sick, need to isolate, or are caring for someone in isolation.
Small- and medium-enterprise relaunch grant
Funding is available for small- and medium-sized businesses, co-ops and non-profits impacted by COVID-19 to offset a portion of their relaunch costs.
Businesses and self-employed people can access supports to help with COVID-19-related challenges to:
- avoid layoffs, rehire employees and create new jobs
- access financial support, loans and credit
T4As for Emergency Isolation Support payments
If you were a recipient of the Emergency Isolation Support between March 25 and April 6 2020, you will receive a T4A slip in the mail in February.
Introduced in spring 2020, the Emergency Isolation Support program ensured Albertans could continue taking care of themselves and their families while they had to self-isolate and had no income.
The temporary, one-time funding was intended to bridge the short period until Government of Canada supports became available.
When filing your 2020 personal tax return, you must report the amount you received as income under Line 13000 – Other Income using Box 200 - Provincial/Territorial COVID-19 financial assistance payments.
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 to 8 pm)
- Alberta’s One Line for Sexual Violence can provide assistance in finding sexual assault support services (9 am to 9 pm daily):
Child neglect and abuse
If you see prices skyrocket because of COVID-19, file a consumer complaint through our Report-a-Ripoff submission form or call 1-877-427-4088.
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. Buy with consideration and caution.
Cyber security incidents involving identity theft, fraud and malware are being reported across Alberta.
- If you receive a call asking for credit card information, hang up immediately and call the non-emergency line for local law enforcement.
- Be careful when clicking on links or providing personal information to people and organizations.
Info for organizations and vulnerable Albertans
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.
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
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)
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
COVID Care Teams
We are working with the cities of Calgary and Edmonton to access local agencies and organizations to provide on-the-ground support to communities experiencing a high number of cases of COVID-19, compared to other areas across the province.
Residents in these communities may face barriers that could contribute to increased rates of COVID-19 transmission:
- employment in public-facing, higher risk jobs – for example, front-line health care, maintenance, transportation
- live in higher density, multi-family or multi-generational homes
- are a newcomer to Alberta and may not have supports in place
- have English language barriers
- earn a lower than average income
To help address these barriers, COVID Care Teams will:
- distribute care packages with masks, sanitizers and translated resources
- refer people to 811 for additional information in multiple languages
- inform residents of the nearest COVID-19 assessment and testing centres
- connect people to transportation to COVID-19 testing facilities, if needed
- refer people to AHS for self-isolation options for people unable to safely do so at home
- provide information about financial supports for people who need to isolate
Upon referral by AHS, free hotel rooms and financial support are available to all Albertans who must isolate due to COVID-19 but cannot do so in their own homes. Call 211 for more information.
- Expanding COVID supports for all Albertans (February 1, 2021)
- Outreach will help Albertans connect to COVID-related resources (December 15, 2020)
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.
Regular updates from Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health.
- Herd immunity and the Great Barrington Declaration (Oct 28, 2020)
Protecting families and the economy
Subscribe to updates about COVID-19 public health measures in Alberta.
- Update 197: COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (March 4)
- Update 196: COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (March 3)
- Update 195: COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (March 2)
- Update 194: COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (March 1)
- Update 193: COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (February 23)
- Update 192: COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (February 22)
- Update 191: COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (February 18)
- Alberta’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout set to expand (March 4)
- Vaccinating more Albertans faster (March 3)
- Targeted COVID-19 restrictions easing under Step 2 (March 1)
- Expanding the COVID-19 vaccine rollout (February 24)
- Alberta seniors now eligible for COVID-19 vaccines (February 19)
- Expanding Alberta’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout (February 19)
- Additional COVID-19 support for Alberta small business (February 17)