10 new cases of coronavirus confirmed in Alberta, bringing total to 39

Mar 14 2020, 3:07 pm

Alberta just saw it’s largest increase in COVID-19 cases yet, as the province announced that 10 new presumptive cases have been confirmed in the past 24 hours.

Six of the new cases are in the Calgary Zone and four are in the Edmonton zone. One case from each city has been admitted into intensive care, the release states, while all others are self-isolating and expected to make a full recovery.

“Given the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, we know parents, students, and school officials are very concerned,” said Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw in the release.

“I want to assure all Albertans that their children’s safety is top of mind in all our decisions, and we are making the best public health decisions we can with the information we have, in this rapidly developing situation. We are prepared to make changes if and when the situation warrants it.”

Alberta’s current stance on public schools is that they remain open, as “the World Health Organization does not recommend school closures as the only way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in children.”

Hinshaw was on a conference call with over 500 Alberta school board, authorities, and stakeholder representatives on Saturday, and the province has now released a new guide to help schools and daycares reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus.

Schools have also been asked to eliminate large gatherings of students, ensure that no more than 250 people are in the same room at the same time, and consider the cancellation of extracurricular activities that involve physical contact.

Those who believe that they may have the virus can visit the Province of Alberta’s online self-assessment tool, which will help them determine if they should be tested.

Over 100,000 Albertans used the self-assessment tool within its first 24 hours of its availability, the release states.

The virus is believed to have jumped from an animal host to a human one at a market in Wuhan, China in late 2019. In the months since, it’s ballooned to become a pandemic.

Entire countries have been placed on lockdown, professional sports leagues have been suspended, and people are panic-buying supplies like toilet paper and hand sanitizer.

All Canadian provinces except Nova Scotia and Newfoundland have reported cases of COVID-19. The three territories have not yet reported cases either.

With coronavirus on the rise, Health Canada is reminding individuals who attend events and large gatherings to monitor their health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. And if you’re not feeling well, they recommend staying home at this time. Also, due to unexpected cancellations, please check the event you plan to attend is still taking place. Keep up with COVID-19 news here.