Province to provide update on COVID-19 response

Province to provide update on COVID-19 response

Province to provide update on COVID-19 response

Businesses including bars and restaurants will also be required to keep their capacity to either less than half their capacity under fire code or fewer than 250 people, whichever is lower.

Unlike in some other jurisdictions, where politicians have taken centre stage, in Canada it's been the top public health experts who have become increasingly visible public figures over the past week, as they've stepped up to provide updates and assurances to an increasingly anxious public.

The ban on meetings of 250 or more was extended to include religious gatherings, and Hinshaw added a stipulation that any event that has more than 50 attendees and expects to have global participants, critical infrastructure staff, seniors or other high-risk populations in large numbers should also be cancelled.

Two cases were noted in the province's North and South zones.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi urged all businesses to allow workers to work from home whenever possible.

"This is very, very, very serious", Nenshi said.

"We are prepared to make changes if and when the situation warrants it".

Hinshaw will be delivering an update in person on COVID-19 at 3:30 p.m. this afternoon.

The province is moving forward with aggressive new measures on social distancing, including banning gatherings of groups of 50 or more.

Hinshaw heard that her advice to schools in fighting the spread of the virus, including by social distancing, would be extremely hard for front-line workers to carry out, in part because of limited staffing and supplies.

Hinshaw said it was not easy to come to the decision to cancel school because of the costs of removing students from a school setting, however, schools are not closed as teachers will be working with school authorities to continue students' education. Campuses remain open at this time. "Stock is on the way", he said.

Many post-secondary institutions, including the University of Calgary, Mount Royal University, Bow Valley College, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, St. Mary's University and Lethbridge College, have announced a transition to online classes and virtual programming.

Hinshaw said six of the cases were in the Calgary area and four were in Edmonton.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw has tested negative for COVID-19, one day after she went into self isolation after developing a sore throat. It's also possible to be infected if you touch a surface with the virus on it and then touch your face.

"My symptoms do not appear consistent with what is typically seen with COVID-19, I do not have a cough or a fever".

Albertans who believe they need testing for COVID-19 can do so by calling Health Link 811. Until further notice, all Albertans are restricted from attending bars and nightclubs.

"I would ask all retailers to consider having a dedicated, safe and orderly time when seniors and the vulnerable can access what they need".

A city-based committee is now looking at all the events the city organizes and deciding whether they should be postponed. They caution against all worldwide travel. AHS facilities are also exempt.

Ghost shifting - one shift of staff completely leaves the office space before the other shift arrives.

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