The Province of Alberta just marked its 15th through 19th presumptive cases of COVID-19 in the province.
A Wednesday evening release stated that all 19 cases are travel-related, with one person recovering in hospital and all others self-isolating at home.
The five new cases had seen patients returning from travelling to countries including Egypt, Spain, Mexico, and the United States.
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One of the five, a man in his 30s, had developed symptoms a few days after returning, and had received unrelated treatment at Misericordia Hosptial on March 6 and 7, prompting the province to directly contact any staff or patients who had been potentially exposed.
“There is no risk to any patients or staff at the hospital at this time,” the release states.
Alberta has so far tested over 2,600 people for coronavirus.
The new cases came shortly after the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 as a pandemic.
“Alberta has been actively planning for every possible scenario,” said Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, in the release.
“We know that COVID-19 is going to test our health system and emergency preparedness, but our system is preparing for that test. While the risk of exposure is still low in Alberta, all partners are working together to limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of Albertans.”
Effective immediately, the province is now asking anyone who has visited Italy in the past 14 days to self-isolate until two weeks after they were last in the country. The same goes for any Albertans who have returned from Iran or Hubei province, China, states the release.
Those who have returned to Canada from other international travel are asked to monitor their health for 14 days after arriving back at home, and to self-isolate and call 811 as soon as they notice any symptoms.
The risk of catching coronavirus in Alberta remains low, the province states.