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Alberta confirms 18 new COVID-19 cases, 52 total in Calgary-zone

“Staying home when you’re sick, that can save lives."
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Alberta’s chief medical officer of health confirmed 18 new cases of COVID-19 coronavirus in the province during a daily update on the provincial response to the pandemic – all from a video conference as she herself is in self-isolation.

In an update Monday (March 16), Dr. Deena Hinshaw said the total number of cases in Alberta has risen to 74 with at least one case in every health care zone, increasing the risk for Albertans from low to low-medium-high.

“I would say the risk for Albertans can be characterized with a simple low-medium to high at this point,” Hinshaw said.

“Certainly with the community transmissions that we’ve seen over the last few days, there’s an increased risk of exposure in a community. I don’t believe it’s widespread at this point, however Albertans need to be mindful of the fact that again we all need to be adjusting to this new normal, and taking very seriously any kind of respiratory illness, making sure that we don’t spread any germs.”

Hinshaw said there are now identified cases of COVID-19 in all Alberta Health zones; 52 cases in the Calgary zone, 18 cases in the Edmonton zone, two cases in the central zone, and one case in both the south and north zones. New in the last two days is that the virus has been spread via community transmission in some cases. 

“I am concerned about that potential for community spread … We take the situation very seriously,” said Hinshaw.

“I’m currently self isolating … Although my symptoms are mild it’s important to know no one is exempt to stay at home. 

"This pandemic will impact all Albertans no matter where they reside in the province.”

Currently five individuals are receiving treatment in hospital and are in stable condition while all other confirmed cases are isolating at home and are expected to make a full recovery, Hinshaw said.

In addition, a press release from the provincial government said airports are equipped with materials to assist those returning from outside the country.

“Materials have been developed to assist travellers returning from outside Canada so they know what to do and how to self-isolate. These materials will be distributed at all airports in the province,” it said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Monday that the country's borders would be closed to most international travellers to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

"I know that these measures are far-reaching.They are exceptional circumstances calling for exceptional measures,” he said.

In addition, Trudeau said anyone exhibiting symptoms at the airport could be barred from getting on a plane.

In Alberta, Hinshaw reminded individuals that if they don’t feel well or are exhibiting any symptoms, they should stay home.

“Staying home when you’re sick, that can save lives,” she said.

For ongoing local, provincial and national coverage of COVID-19, go to's page devoted to this developing story. 

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