Alberta has announced a second case of COVID-19 in Alberta Health Service’s central zone.
The pandemic gripping the world is now in all Alberta health zones.
The province reported 18 new cases Monday afternoon, bringing the total to 74 in the province: two cases in the central zone, one in the south zone, one in the north zone, 52 in the Calgary zone and 18 in the Edmonton zone.
The province announced the first central zone case on March 11.
The government has not released the exact location of the central zone cases. Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said the location of the case is only relevant if it puts others at risk. The province also wants to protect patient confidentiality.
The pandemic risk in Alberta so far has been low, but that’s increased slightly with the two community transmitted cases that the province announced Sunday. The two cases are in the Edmonton and Calgary zones.
On Monday, Hinshaw, appearing on a screen, as she self isolated, said there’s an increased risk of exposure in the community, however, it’s not widespread at this time.
“The risk to those who are elderly, those who are in long-term care, those with chronic medical conditions, the risk of them, should they become infected, the risk of severe illness is high.”
For people with chronic illnesses, seniors and especially those who are 80 years of age and older, Hinshaw said to make wise decisions in their everyday lives, such as avoiding large gatherings.
“It’s difficult to put a single word on it, we’re beyond a low, medium and high ranking. The risk has increased with community transmission and Albertans need to be mindful that the choices they make in their everyday life can save lives. Staying home when they’re sick that can save lives.”
All long-term care and other continuing care facilities are advised to limit visits to essential guests.
As of Monday afternoon, there are no restrictions on inter-provincial travel for Albertans. However, all travellers are advised to limit their exposure and to avoid large gatherings.
Hinshaw said provincial officials have important discussions every day. One such topic is the question of shutting bars and restaurants.
“I’m concerned about community spread and whether or not any additional measures are needed, and we are talking with other provinces and territories and every day.
“We have these discussions to determine whether these measures are needed (closure of restaurants and bars) and as they’re needed, we will take measures to protect the health of Albertans.”