Alberta announces more COVID-19 cases: One confirmed case, three presumptive

EDMONTON — Alberta is announcing its first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus, along with more presumptive cases, officially making it the fourth province to be dealing with COVID-19.

A spokesman for Alberta Health said that the province’s medical officer of health is set to announce Sunday that one of two previously presumptive cases has now been confirmed, and that there are two more presumptive cases.

That means there is now one confirmed and three presumptive cases in Alberta, said Tom McMillan.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw was set to give more details at a press conference later Sunday.

At least 58 people in Canada have COVID-19, with 27 confirmed cases in B.C., 28 in Ontario, two in Quebec and one in Alberta.

Quebec’s health department said Sunday it has another presumptive case, in the Monteregie region southeast of Montreal in a person who returned from a cruise. That province is now dealing with two presumptive cases in addition to its two confirmed cases. Cases are treated as presumptive until the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg can run more tests to confirm the results.

Meanwhile, the captain of a cruise ship hit by the novel coronavirus has informed passengers, which include 237 Canadians, that the vessel is now headed to the port of Oakland, Calif.

Two passengers and 19 crew members, whose nationalities have not yet been disclosed, have tested positive for COVID-19 on the ship.

In a ship-board address Saturday night, Grand Princess Capt. John Smith said the vessel would likely dock Sunday afternoon and that people needing ”acute medical treatment” would be taken to health-care facilities in California.

Smith said other guests would be taken to federally operated isolation sites or transported out of California, however, he noted that he had been not given any specific information about non-U.S. citizens.

The ship has more than 3,500 people aboard and has been idling off the coast of San Francisco for the several days now waiting for clearance to dock.

Canadian health officials are now advising people to avoid cruise ship travel In light of the situation aboard the Grand Princess and other cruise ships recently plagued by COVID-19 outbreaks.

In British Columbia, officials declared an outbreak of the novel coronavirus at a North Vancouver long-term care home on Saturday, saying two elderly residents were recently diagnosed with the virus along with four others in the province.

Chief provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the two cases followed an earlier diagnosis of a care worker at the Lynn Valley Care Centre, making them especially concerning as examples of community transmission.

The care home is now following an outbreak protocol that restricts visitors and imposes “infection control precautions” on all staff interactions at the facility.

A growing list of events are being cancelled in Canada and around the world in anticipation of fewer people travelling to and from infected areas.

The women’s world hockey championship slated to begin this month in Halifax and Truro, N.S., the 2020 Arctic Winter Games in Whitehorse, and the South by Southwest Conference and Festival in Austin, Texas, have all been cancelled to prevent the spread of the virus.

And on Saturday Tim Hortons got rid of the cups for its annual “Roll Up the Rim” contest, saying “the current public health environment” means “it’s not the right time for team members…to collect rolled up tabs that have been in people’s mouths.”

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