New aggressive public health measures for COVID-19
This afternoon, the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Alberta, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, announced that aggressive new public health measures are being adopted to limit the spread of COVID-19. The Emergency Management Cabinet Committee approved the following recommendations:
COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving global threat and is more severe than seasonal influenza and more contagious than viruses like SARS.
- All large gatherings of more than 250 people, or international events in the province are to be cancelled. This includes large sporting events, conferences and community events. This does not extend to places of worship, grocery stores, airports or shopping centres.
- Any event that has less than 250 attendees and expects to have international participants, or involves critical infrastructure staff, seniors, or other high-risk populations should also be cancelled.
- Events of less than 250 people that do not meet these criteria can proceed as long as risk mitigation is in place such as sanitizer stations, ensuring that there is a mechanism for keeping anyone ill from attending and distancing between attendees.
- At this time, schools and daycares can remain open but schools are encouraged to avoid large all-school gatherings.
- All Albertans are being advised to not travel outside of the country at this time.
- All Albertans returning from outside Canada should self-isolate for 14 days, even if well.
- Any Albertan who is will with influenza-like symptoms such as fever or cough stay at home for 14 days after their illness started.
- If you develop symptoms – cough, fever or difficulty breathing – stay home and call Health Link 811 for instructions and testing. Do not go to the ER or doctor’s office.
Click here to follow the self-isolation guidelines:
All Albertans are strongly urged to follow the public health advice that AHS has been providing:
- Do not visit long-term care facilities or loved ones in hospital if you are sick with a fever or cough.
- Practice good hygiene, including washing hands regularly and avoid touching your face and eyes.
- Develop a plan for what might need to change if you and your loved one need to stay home for two weeks. Talk with your neighbours and friends to see how you can support each other if any of you are in this situation.
- All parents and guardians should talk to their children about this virus, if you haven’t already done so. Be honest and accurate. Evidence to date suggests that the vast majority of kids who contract COVID-19 experience mild symptoms.
Any public health emergency can have a significant impact on the mental health of children and adults. It’s also important to know that mental health supports are available if needed. Anyone struggling with their mental health can reach out to the Mental Health Help Line which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Children and teens can also call or text the Kids Help Phone at any time of day or night. This is a free, confidential and professional service designed to meet our young people’s needs.
It is expected that new cases will be confirmed in the days ahead. Alberta Health is working closely with all health partners to monitor developments around the world. Additional public health measures will be implemented if required.
Please go to the Alberta Health Services Website at: http://albertahealthservices.ca for up-to-date information. And if you have symptoms such as fever, cough and difficulty breathing and have travelled outside Canada or have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, stay home and call 811.
We will be supporting Alberta Health with additional digital signage and messaging in the Terminal:
“All Albertans returning from outside Canada should self-isolate for 14 days, even if well. If you develop symptoms – cough, fever or difficulty breathing – stay home and call Health Link 811 for instructions and testing. Do not go to the ER or doctor's office.”
We will keep you updated.