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  • Update 173: COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (Jan. 18, 6:15 p.m.)

    Active cases and hospitalizations are declining, but the health-care system continues to be strained. Continue to follow public health restrictions.

    Latest updates

    • Over the last 24 hours, 474 new cases were identified.
    • There are 739 people in hospital due to COVID-19, including 120 in intensive care.
    • There are 11,923 active cases in the province.
    • To date, 103,941 Albertans have recovered from COVID-19.
    • In the last 24 hours, there were 11 additional COVID-related deaths reported: one on Jan. 5, one on Jan. 9, five on Jan. 15, one on Jan. 16 and three on Jan. 17.
    • The testing positivity rate was 5.4 per cent.
    • There was an increase of 8,592 tests (3,028,888 total) for a total of 1,717,381 people tested.
    • All zones across the province have cases:
      • Calgary Zone: 4,463 active cases and 39,921 recovered
      • South Zone: 413 active cases and 5,062 recovered
      • Edmonton Zone: 4,237 active cases and 44,310 recovered
      • North Zone: 1,636 active cases and 7,513 recovered
      • Central Zone: 1,148 active cases and 7,024 recovered
      • 26 active cases and 111 recovered cases in zones to be confirmed
      • Additional information, including case totals, is online.
    • Currently, 133 schools, about 5.5 per cent, are on alert or have outbreaks, with 181 cases in total.
    • Of those, 131 schools are on alert, with 170 total cases.
    • Outbreaks are declared in two schools, with a total of 11 cases.
    • In-school transmission has likely occurred in 17 schools. Of these, 14 have had only one new case occur as a result.
    • R values from Jan. 11-17 (confidence interval):
      • Alberta provincewide: 0.84 (0.81-0.86)
      • Edmonton Zone: 0.81 (0.77-0.85)
      • Calgary Zone: 0.79 (0.79-0.85)
      • Rest of Alberta: 0.88 (0.84-0.92)
    • There are currently 1,007 active and 7,248 recovered cases at long-term care facilities and supportive/home living sites.
    • To date, 956 of the 1,447 reported deaths (66 per cent) have been in long-term care facilities or supportive/home living sites.

    Limited provincewide restrictions eased

    Schools

    COVID-19 vaccination program

    • As of Jan. 17, 89,814 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Alberta. This is 2,031.1 doses per 100,000 population.
    • Due to interruptions in vaccine supply, no new first dose appointments will be booked for the next few weeks.
    • Alberta’s phased approach to vaccination focuses first on priority health-care workers and those who are at highest risk of severe outcomes. Eligibility has expanded to include paramedics and emergency medical technicians.

    COVID Care Teams outreach

    • A comprehensive outreach program is reaching communities with high levels of COVID-19 spread in Edmonton and Calgary.
    • If you or others in your home have been directed to self-isolate/quarantine by Alberta Health Services and are unable to do so safely at home, please contact 211 to discuss options, including accessing an assigned hotel to safely isolate (free-of-charge). Financial assistance may also be available in the amount of $625, upon completion of the self-isolation period.
    • COVID Care Teams have assembled more than 58,000 care packages and have delivered half of them door-to-door. Packages have also been distributed through schools and via food hamper distribution.

    Testing for travellers from the U.K. and South Africa

    • All travellers who have arrived from the United Kingdom and South Africa since Dec. 7 should immediately get a COVID-19 test, whether they have symptoms or not.
    • Travellers will be contacted directly by Alberta Health Services to book a test.
    • Also, travellers from the United Kingdom or South Africa who are participating in the border pilot must immediately quarantine, whether they’ve had a negative test or not. All returning travellers currently in quarantine must remain in quarantine for the full 14 days.

    Enforcement of public health measures

    • The government has granted certain Alberta peace officers and community peace officers temporary authority to enforce public health orders.
    • Not following mandatory restrictions will result in fines of $1,000 per ticketed offence and up to $100,000 through the courts.

    Albertans downloading tracer app

    • All Albertans are encouraged to download the secure ABTraceTogether app, which is integrated with provincial contact tracing. The federal app is not a contact tracing app.
    • Secure contact tracing is an effective tool to stop the spread by notifying people who were exposed to a confirmed case so they can isolate and be tested.
    • As of Jan. 18, 301,959 Albertans were using the ABTraceTogether app, 66 per cent on iOS and 34 per cent on Android.
    • Secure contact tracing is a cornerstone of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy.

    MyHealth Records quick access

    • Parents and guardians can access the COVID-19 test results for children under the age of 18 through MyHealth Records (MHR) as soon as they are ready.
    • More than 500,000 Albertans have MHR accounts.

    Influenza immunization

    • All Albertans, especially seniors and those at risk, are encouraged to get immunized against influenza.
    • More than 1,476,702 Albertans have received their flu shot.

    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. Resources are also available online.
    • 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.

    Alberta’s government is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by protecting lives and livelihoods with precise measures to bend the curve, sustain small businesses and protect Alberta’s health-care system.

    Quick facts

    • Legally, all Albertans must physically distance and isolate when sick or with symptoms.
    • 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.
    • Please 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.