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  • Update 188: COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (Feb. 11, 4 p.m.)

    Plan to enjoy the long weekend safely. Observe gathering restrictions and follow all other public health guidelines to protect others and the health-care system.

    Latest updates

    • Over the last 24 hours, 351 new cases were identified.
    • There are 397 people in hospital due to COVID-19, including 71 in intensive care.
    • There are 5,501 active cases in the province.
    • To date, 120,676 Albertans have recovered from COVID-19.
    • In the last 24 hours, there were 16 additional COVID-related deaths reported: one on Dec. 29, one on Dec. 30, one on Dec. 31, one on Jan. 1, one on Jan. 8, one on Jan. 23, one on Jan. 28, five on Feb. 9, three on Feb. 10, and one on Feb. 11.
    • The testing positivity rate was 3.5 per cent.
    • There was an increase of 9,968 tests (3,278,428 total) for a total of 1,782,832 people tested.
    • All zones across the province have cases:
      • Calgary Zone: 2,202 active cases and 46,437 recovered
      • South Zone: 292 active cases and 5,724 recovered
      • Edmonton Zone: 1,616 active cases and 49,954 recovered
      • North Zone: 703 active cases and 9,855 recovered
      • Central Zone: 679 active cases and 8,601 recovered
      • Nine active cases and 105 recovered cases in zones to be confirmed
      • Additional information, including case totals, is online.
    • Currently, 311 schools, about 13 per cent, are on alert or have outbreaks, with 897 cases in total.
      • 266 schools are on alert, with 522 total cases.
      • Outbreaks are declared in 45 schools, with a total of 375 cases.
      • In-school transmission has likely occurred in 77 schools. Of these, 115 have had only one new case occur as a result.
    • There are currently 286 active and 8,758 recovered cases at long-term care facilities and supportive/home living sites.
    • To date, 1,136 of the 1,744 reported deaths (65 per cent) have been in long-term care facilities or supportive/home living sites.

    Funding for Alberta’s critical workers

    • The Critical Worker Benefit will provide $1,200 to approximately 380,000 public and private sector workers in Alberta.
    • This includes workers in health care, social services, education and private sectors who deliver critical services to Albertans or support food and medical supply chains.
    • The funds will be applied for by employers in the private sector, or automatically distributed to qualifying employees in the public sector.

    Expansion of rapid testing

    • Asymptomatic staff in long-term care and supportive living facilities in Alberta will be tested at least once a week.
    • In addition, the province is supplying rapid tests for a pilot project with Suncor Energy and Creative Destruction Labs at Suncor’s base plant in Fort McMurray and the First Nation and Métis community of Fort McKay.

    Easing restrictions

    • Step 1 of the Path Forward plan began Feb. 8. The Path Forward plan has targets for easing restrictions based on hospitalization rates.
    • Specific hospitalization numbers will be the benchmarks by which restrictions will be eased.
    • Existing health measures are still in place and should be followed.

    COVID-19 vaccination program

    • As of Feb. 10, 135,575 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Alberta. This is 3,066 doses per 100,000 population. There are now 42,162 Albertans fully vaccinated with two doses.
    • Due to interruptions in vaccine supply, no new first dose appointments will be booked for the next few weeks.
    • As more doses of vaccines arrive, Alberta will expand its vaccine approach.
    • Alberta’s phased approach to vaccination focuses first on priority health-care workers and those who are at highest risk of severe outcomes.

    COVID-19 variants

    • Alberta is actively monitoring for COVID-19 variants and is enhancing the province’s capacity to do genetic analysis on samples.
    • Variant case numbers are being updated regularly.

    Border pilot program

    • The border pilot program at Calgary Airport will be suspended once federal changes requiring travellers to quarantine at a federally designated hotel come into effect.
    • Currently, all border pilot participants must remain in quarantine until receiving a negative result from their second test on day seven or eight (counting arrival day as day one).
    • Participants cannot return to child care, out-of-school care, schools, post-secondary institutions and workplaces outside of their home for 14 days.
    • Returning travellers from the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil are not eligible to participate in the border pilot program.

    Schools

    COVID Care Teams outreach

    • 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.

    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 Feb. 8, 307,287 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.
    • To date, 1,527,367 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.