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  • Update 129: COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (Oct. 8, 4:30 p.m.)

    There are 77 people in hospital due to COVID-19, including 13 in intensive care. New voluntary public health measures are recommended for Edmonton zone.

    Latest updates

    • There are currently 2,097 active cases in the province.
    • Total recovered cases are 17,338.
    • In the past 24 hours, 364 new cases were identified and 16,408 tests were completed.
    • Alberta labs have now performed 1,472,658 tests on
      1,095,515 Albertans.
    • There were two additional deaths reported.
    • There are currently 371 confirmed cases in 170 schools.
      • Of those, 98 schools are on alert, with 131 total cases.
      • Outbreaks are declared in 72 schools, including 14 that are on watch. There are 240 total cases linked to these schools.
      • The online school status map identifies individual schools.
      • A total of 55 schools have now been removed from the alert list, including five since Oct. 7.
    • As of today, all zones across the province have cases:
      • Calgary zone: 604 active cases and 8,567 recovered
      • South zone: 92 active cases and 1,795 recovered
      • Edmonton zone: 1,251 active cases and 4,906 recovered
      • North zone: 97 active cases and 1,374 recovered
      • Central zone: 39 active cases and 660 recovered
      • 14 active cases and 36 recovered cases in zones to be confirmed
      • Additional information, including case totals, is online.
    • There are 109 active cases and 1,158 recovered cases at continuing care facilities; 173 facility residents have died.

    Voluntary health measures in Edmonton Zone

    • Alberta’s government is implementing voluntary public health measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Edmonton Zone and protect the health of Albertans.
    • Effective immediately, all residents and visitors to the Edmonton Zone should:
      • Limit their social and family gatherings to no more than 15 people.
      • Wear non-medical masks in all indoor work settings, except when alone in workspaces, such as offices or cubicles, and where separated from others or an appropriate barrier is in place.
      • Limit their number of cohorts to no more than three (a core/household cohort; a school cohort; and one additional sport, social or other cohort). Young children who attend child care could be part of four cohorts, given that child care cohorts have not shown a high-risk of spreading COVID-19.
    • These additional public health measures are voluntary for the Edmonton Zone but strongly recommended.
    • All existing guidance and public health orders remain in place.
    • Alberta Health, Alberta Health Services and local partners in the Edmonton Zone will continue closely monitoring the spread in Edmonton and across the province to determine if additional recommendations should be made.
    • All other health zones in the province must continue to follow the public health orders and guidance in place.

    Influenza immunization

    • Everyone is encouraged to get immunized against influenza, especially seniors and at-risk Albertans.
    • Alberta ordered a record 1.96 million doses of vaccine.
    • By appointment starting Oct. 19, doctors’ offices and participating pharmacies will immunize Albertans age five and up.
    • By appointment, public health clinics will immunize children under five and their household members; people with no provincial health number; and where they are the only provider.
    • For the first time, seniors in provincially funded long-term care can receive a high-dose vaccine.

    School health measures

    • An online map lists every school with two or more confirmed cases and a declared outbreak, and schools that shifted into scenario 2 or 3 to protect students and staff. The map is updated on school days.
    • Work is underway to expand the map to include all schools with one confirmed case and an alert.
    • Masks are mandatory for Grade 4 to 12 students and all school staff in all settings where distancing isn’t possible.
    • Government distributed more than 1.6 million reusable masks, two each to 740,000 students and 90,000 staff.
    • A re-entry tool kit is available for parents and students.
    • Health officials will monitor and update the guidance for schools based on the best evidence.

    Testing

    • 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.
    • Voluntary asymptomatic testing is also available to: school teachers and staff; health-care workers; staff and residents at congregate living facilities, including long-term care; Albertans experiencing homelessness; travellers who require testing prior to departure.
    • Asymptomatic testing will be offered to additional groups, if required.
    • Albertans who don’t have symptoms or exposure to COVID-19 should speak with their health-care provider if they have concerns about their health.

    MyHealth Records quick access

    • Parents and guardians can now access the COVID-19 test results for children under the age of 18 through MyHealth Records (MHR) as soon as they are ready.
    • To access children’s test results, parents need to provide their personal health number and the date of their child’s COVID-19 test.
    • Albertans age 14 and older could already access their COVID-19 test results immediately after signing up without waiting for mail-out verification.
    • Sign-up is free, the only requirement is an Alberta driver’s licence or identification card.
    • More than 340,000 Albertans have MHR accounts.

    Thanksgiving and Halloween

    • Albertans are encouraged to keep their Thanksgiving gatherings as small as possible.
      • Online guidance is available to help Albertans enjoy a safe and healthy holiday while limiting the spread of COVID-19.
    • A new website and tip sheet will help Albertans of all ages enjoy a safe and healthy Halloween.
      • Printable posters will let people know if you are handing out treats.

    Albertans downloading tracer app

    • Currently, 245,612 Albertans are using the ABTraceTogether app, 65 per cent using iOS and 35 per cent using Android.
    • The app averages eight new registered users per hour.
    • Secure contact tracing is a cornerstone of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy.

    Access to justice

    Alberta’s Recovery Plan

    • Alberta’s Recovery Plan will create jobs, economic diversification and a strong economic future.

    Supporting Alberta businesses through relaunch

    • The Alberta Biz Connect web page has health and safety guidelines for general workplaces and specific industry sectors. Check online for new and updated guidance documents.
    • Businesses may complete an online template to plan how to protect employees and patrons.

    Addiction and mental health supports

    • Confidential supports are available. The Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642 and the Addiction Help Line at 1-866-332-2322 operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Canadian Mental Health Association has resources at mentalhealthweek.ca.
    • The Kids Help Phone is available 24-7 and offers professional counselling, information and referrals and volunteer-led, text-based support to young people by texting CONNECT to 686868.
    • Online resources provide advice on handling stressful situations and ways to talk with children.

    Family violence prevention

    • A 24-hour Family Violence Information Line at 310-1818 provides anonymous help in more than 170 languages.
    • Alberta’s One Line for Sexual Violence is available at 1-866-403-8000, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
    • People fleeing family violence can call local police or the nearest RCMP detachment to apply for an Emergency Protection Order, or follow the steps in the Emergency Protection Orders Telephone Applications (COVID-19).
    • Information sheets and other resources on family violence prevention are at alberta.ca/COVID19.

    Quick facts

    • Legal requirements for physical distancing and isolating when sick or showing symptoms are still in effect, and all Albertans must adhere to these restrictions.
    • Good hygiene is your best protection: wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face, cough or sneeze into an elbow or sleeve, and dispose of tissues appropriately.
    • Albertans are asked to share acts of kindness during this difficult time at #AlbertaCares.
    • Alberta Connects Contact Centre (310-4455) is open Monday to Friday, 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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