23 new presumptive cases of coronavirus confirmed in Alberta

Mar 17 2020, 3:06 pm

The number of presumptive cases of COVID-19 in Alberta has increased by 23 over the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of cases up to 97 in the province.

The number is up from 74 cases reported on Monday and the one case the province had only one day ago.

“The vast majority of those cases still are confirmed related to travel or close contact of a case, so it shows that we’re putting those measures in space to contain spread, and detecting cases that come in,” said Hinshaw in a press conference Tuesday.

According to Hinshaw, five of the confirmed cases are in hospital and two are in the ICU, while all others are self-isolating at home and are expected to make a full recovery.

“We are seeing a few more cases where community transmission is possible,” said Hinshaw.

“In addition, we are seeing examples such as a dental conference that has six cases reported alone from that one dental conference in Alberta.

“We are trying to get the word out about instances like that, or the single gathering in one home [in Calgary] that now has 10 cases associated with that one gathering, is an indication we need to take steps for what I believe will come in the coming weeks.”

Hinshaw also announced that elective or non-urgent surgeries in Alberta will be postponed, so front line workers and hospital beds may be redeployed.

Earlier today Premier Jason Kenney also officially announced a state of public health emergency in the province as a result of the pandemic, signalling a number of changes to Albertan’s way of life in the coming days and weeks.

The announcement means that Alberta’s Provincial Operations Centre has been elevated to a level 4, the highest possible level, and that mass gathering will be limited to no more than 50 people.

The limitations on mass gatherings include places of worship, weddings, and restaurants, while take out, delivery, and drive through services are still permitted, though sit-in restaurants, cafes, and food courts will be capped at either 50 people or 50% of regular capacity, if that capacity is lower than 100.

With coronavirus on the rise, Alberta Health Services 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.