Alberta's first presumptive case of coronavirus has been detected

Mar 5 2020, 4:51 pm

The Province of Alberta has announced that the first presumptive case of coronavirus in Alberta has been detected.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced to media that the first presumptive case of COVID-19, also known as the novel coronavirus, was detected in Calgary.

Since the initial reports of the virus began at the end of 2019 in Wuhan, China, confirmed and probable cases have been seen throughout Canada, with a total of 21 identified cases in BC, 22 confirmed cases in Ontario, and one case in Quebec.

Hinshaw had previously laid out the precautions that Alberta had been putting into place in preparation for the virus entering Alberta, including the creation of  COVID-19 PCN Incident Response Task Force and an FAQ for primary care providers in Alberta.

The case was confirmed in a provincial lab, according to Hinshaw, but will not be officially confirmed until results are in from national labs.

The presumptive case was detected in a woman in her 50s who had been travelling on board a Grand Princess Cruise Ship in California. She is currently recovering at her Calgary home in self-isolation.

“We take this extremely seriously and are doing all we can to minimize risk and to keep Albertans safe,” said Hinshaw.

“While some may be concerned, I remind Albertans that the risk is still low in our province. We are already taking the necessary precautions to prevent the infection from spreading.”

Those who have been in close contact with the woman, along with anyone who may have returned from a Grand Princess Cruise to Alberta in the last two weeks, are being asked to self-isolate four 14 days as well — even if they do not display symptoms.