What you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Wednesday, June 17

The latest:

  • The province reported 35 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, for a total of 449 active cases. 
  • The number of active cases in Edmonton is approaching the number of active cases in Calgary, which Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, says demonstrates the high risk of social gatherings without physical distancing or wearing masks.
  • The Calgary Airport Authority says face masks or coverings will be mandatory for all staff and guests at the Calgary International Airport beginning today. 

What you need to know today in Alberta:

A combination of more rain and less human activity in Alberta’s forests due to COVID-19 restrictions has contributed to a slower start to the wildfire season this spring compared with recent years.

Under Alberta’s re-entry plan for schools, provincial achievement tests (PATs) would be an option if students return to classrooms.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province’s chief medical officer of health, says that in the weeks since reopening, there has been an increase of infections among younger Albertans.

Provincial achievement tests [PATs} will be an option for students to write next year, if students return to Alberta classrooms. (Genevieve Tardif/Radio-Canada)

Sixty per cent of the province’s active cases involve people under the age of 40, Hinshaw said, and the province is seeing a particular increase in those between the ages of 20 and 29.

A sharp decline in the spending plans of Canada’s oilpatch is raising concerns throughout the supply and service sector.

This map provides an overview of how COVID-19 has impacted the province of Alberta as of June 12, 2020. (CBC News)

As of Tuesday, there were 449 active cases in the province. More than 349,000 tests had been completed, with 6,587 tests done in the previous 24 hours.

The regional breakdown of cases on Tuesday afternoon was:

  • Calgary zone: 208 active cases, 4,786 recovered.
  • Edmonton zone: 190 active cases, 529 recovered.
  • South zone: 23 active cases, 1,244 recovered.
  • North zone: 26 active cases, 226 recovered.
  • Central zone: 2 active cases, 85 recovered.
  • Unknown: 0 active cases, 12 recovered.

There are 36 people in hospital, seven of them in intensive care.

This map shows the total number of cases recorded in the Calgary zone as of June 12, 2020. (CBC News)

What you need to know today in Canada:

The Trudeau government will inform the country about the state of government finances on July 8, when it will present a fiscal and economic update. 

Canada’s inflation rate fell to a –0.4 per cent annual pace in May, the second month in a row below zero as cheaper gasoline offset price increases elsewhere.

The Canada emergency response benefit (CERB) will be extended by two more months. 

The Canada-U.S. border will remain closed to non-essential travel for at least another month, to July 21, to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus as confirmed cases in the United States continue to climb past the two million mark.

Mexico won’t send any more temporary foreign workers to Canada until it has more clarity on why two died due to COVID-19, the country’s ambassador to Canada said Monday.

In Canada, the number of confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases has surpassed 99,000, with 29,878 of them still active. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial data, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 8,093. 

Self-assessment and supports:

Alberta Health Services has an online self-assessment tool that you can use to determine if you have symptoms of COVID-19, but testing is open to anyone, even without symptoms. 

The province says Albertans who have returned to Canada from other countries must self-isolate. Unless your situation is critical and requires a call to 911, Albertans are advised to call Health Link at 811 before visiting a physician, hospital or other health-care facility.

If you have symptoms, even mild, you are to self-isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms. 

You can find Alberta Health Services’ latest coronavirus updates here.

The province also operates a confidential mental health support line at 1-877-303-2642 and addiction help line at 1-866-332-2322, available from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week. 

Online resources are available for advice on handling stressful situations and ways to talk with children.

There is a 24-hour family violence information line at 310-1818 to get anonymous help in more than 170 languages, and Alberta’s One Line for Sexual Violence is available at 1-866-403-8000, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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