COVID-19 Updates: State of public health emergency declared.
There are now 19 confirmed cases in Alberta, all travel-related. One patient continues to recover in hospital, while all others are in isolation at home.
“Today, the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Alberta has been actively planning for every possible scenario. We know that COVID-19 is going to test our health system and emergency preparedness, but our system is preparing for that test. While the risk of exposure is still low in Alberta, all partners are working together to limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of Albertans.”
“Alberta’s health system is actively preparing for every possible scenario. Having visited an AHS emergency coordination centre and Health Link 811, and having toured stockpiles of personal protective equipment, sanitizers and other supplies, I’ve seen first-hand that our health system is working very hard to protect the health of Albertans.”
One of the confirmed cases involves an Edmonton man in his thirties who recently returned from international travel and started experiencing symptoms a number of days after returning. He received previously scheduled, unrelated treatment at Misericordia Hospital on March 6 and 7, before testing positive for COVID-19 on March 9. He is now self-isolating.
Any staff or patients who were potentially exposed at this location are being directly contacted by public health. There is no risk to any patients or staff at the hospital at this time.
The other confirmed cases involve a man in his twenties and two women in their thirties from the Calgary zone. A female in her thirties from Central zone has also tested positive for COVID-19.
The five newly confirmed cases had returned from visiting a range of countries, including Iran, Egypt, Spain, Mexico and the United States.
Alberta continues widespread testing and aggressive public health measures.
Effective immediately, Alberta will now be asking any travellers who have visited Italy in the last 14 days to self-isolate until two weeks have passed since that visit. These individuals should stay home and away from others, even if they are feeling well. Similar precautions are already in place for travellers returning from Iran and Hubei province, China.
All travellers returning from outside Canada should monitor their health for 14 days after coming home. If they develop symptoms, they should self-isolate immediately and call Health Link 811.
While the risk of catching COVID-19 within the province remains low at this time, this may change in the future.
All Albertans are encouraged to visit alberta.ca/COVID19 for the latest information, guidance and resources.