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Dr. Hinshaw alludes to a 'series of new measures'

Monday, 23 November 2020. Posted in Shootin' the Breeze

Dr. Hinshaw alludes to a 'series of new measures'

Dr. Hinshaw alludes to 
new Covid-19 measures

South zone Covid-19 update
Compiled by Shannon Robison, Publisher

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, took recommendations for measures to deal with Alberta’s sharp increase in new cases of Covid-19 to the priorities implementation committee of cabinet this afternoon.

“The number of fatalities from this virus is growing and the number of hospitalizations and ICU admissions continues to rise, challenging the health system’s ability to deliver care that Albertans need in the future,” she said. 

“We must take action. Waiting any longer will impact our ability to care for Albertans in the weeks and months ahead.”

Details of the series of new proposed measures will be provided tomorrow.

She also announced changes to contact tracing and case investigation in her update today.

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Alberta Overview
Sunday, Nov. 22 – 48,421 total cases

Data updated Monday, Nov. 23

1,549 new cases of Covid-19 were reported in today’s update.

19,474 were tested, for a provincial positivity rate of eight per cent.

There are 13,166 active cases, an increase of 1,892 since yesterday.

573 recoveries brings the total to 34,779 for a recovery rate of about 72 per cent.

328 people are hospitalized with 62 admitted to intensive care units.

Five new deaths were reported today, including one in the south zone.

476 Albertans have now died, giving Covid-19 a mortality rate of about one per cent in the province.

178 schools have outbreaks of two or more active cases, including 64 on watch due to having five or more.

Due to the current backlog in contact tracing and investigations, Dr. Hinshaw said today that Alberta Health may not be able to track and record every case linked to a school in the past two weeks but that school-aged children will continue to be part of the priority calls in the most-recent cases.

“The best thing we can do to protect schools is to lower community transmission,” she said.


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Despite contact tracers directly calling only contacts in high-priority settings, they haven’t kept up with new cases being confirmed, creating a backlog going back several weeks.

Each person who has tested positive has received notification of their results, but contact tracers have not been complete further investigations of close contacts.

“In order to maximize the effectiveness of the team, I have asked AHS to start with the most-recently diagnosed cases and work backwards, trying to reach as many cases as possible, but prioritizing the cases which will have the greatest benefit in reducing further transmission,” said Dr. Hinshaw.

As a temporary measure, effective tomorrow (Nov. 24), those who tested positive for Covid 10 days or more earlier will not be included in case investigation and contact tracing. 

Those affected will receive a text message notifying them not to expect a call from AHS and provide guidance as to the end date of their isolation period.

“All of the cases in the backlog did receive notification of their positive test result and they were already instructed to isolate and asked to notify their own close contacts via text message,” said Dr. Hinshaw.

“I am sorry that this will leave a group of people without the opportunity to have a conversation with AHS to understand where they acquired the infection and how to better prevent onward spread, but we must focus on looking forward and using our contact tracers where they have the greatest impact.”


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“Anyone diagnosed with Covid-19 must stay home and distanced from all others, even members of their same household, until 10 days have passed from the start of their symptoms, or until their symptoms resolve, whichever is longer,” added Dr. Hinshaw.

“This is true whether or not cases receive a call.”

Close contacts must stay home for 14 days from the last exposure to the positive case and monitor for symptoms. They should leave their property only if they need to go for testing.

“If you can adapt your life to reduce the amount of time that you spend interacting with others, please do so now,” she said. “This is a challenging moment, but our province is strong and there is hope.”

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Many areas of the province are currently under “enhanced watch” status with additional mandatory and voluntary measures in place.

These extra precautions apply when there are a minimum of 10 active cases AND an equivalent of 50 or more active cases per 100,000. Areas with enhanced status and other specific urban centres are required to follow new mandatory restrictions.

South zone areas with enhanced status are Cardston County, Fort Macleod, City of Lethbridge, Lethbridge County, County of Warner, MD of Taber, County of Newell, City of Brooks, County of Forty Mile, City of Medicine Hat and Cypress County. 

Pincher Creek region, Crowsnest Pass, Waterton and Oyen are the south zone areas with open status at this time.

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What does this mean for areas with open status?

Pincher Creek Region, Crowsnest Pass, Waterton and Oyen will not move to enhanced status unless they get to the point of having 10 active cases of Covid-19, even though the rate per 100,000 will pass 50 before then.

For example, Pincher Creek region currently has five active cases, the equivalent of 60.2 per 100,000, which is above the trigger point of 50. Status for the region will only change if there are also 10 active cases.

Waterton has no active cases, Crowsnest Pass has two and Oyen has eight. The scenario is the same for them, it will take an active-case count of 10 for status to change from open to enhanced.


South Zone Specifics
Sunday, Nov. 22 – 3,528 total cases

Data updated Monday, Nov. 23

69 new cases were reported in today’s update.

Testing numbers remain unavailable as does the positivity rate specific to the zone.

There are 664 active cases, an increase of 53 since yesterday.

15 recoveries brings the total to 2,824, for a recovery rate of about 80 per cent.

25 people are hospitalized with five admitted to intensive care.

40 residents have died, including a woman in her 70s from Brooks noted in today's update. Her death is not linked to a continuing-care outbreak. Condolences are extended to family and friends of the deceased.

This gives Covid-19 a mortality rate of about 1.1 per cent for the zone.

There are two acute-care outbreaks in the south zone – Chinook Regional Hospital in Lethbridge and Oyen Health Centre (as of Nov. 20 update).

There are 10 public outbreak sites across the zone, which are detailed in the community breakdown below.

19 south zone schools have outbreaks of two or more active cases including six on watch due to having five or more active cases.

** While not yet included on the provincial school outbreak map, Livingstone Range School Division has confirmed there have been two active cases of Covid-19 diagnosed at Livingstone School in Lundbreck. Close contacts have been notified.

11 of 15 communities/regions are under enhanced status. Additional public health measures and gathering restrictions are in place for these areas that have crossed the watch threshold and are noted below the zone report. 

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Community Breakdown
Sunday, Nov. 22

Data updated Monday, Nov. 23

* Indicates a change in statistics since the previous day’s report


Pincher Creek Region – 35 total 

5 active, 28 recovered, 2 deaths
* 3 new active, 1 new recovery

** While not yet included on the provincial school outbreak map, Livingstone Range School Division has confirmed there have been two active cases of Covid-19 diagnosed at Livingstone School in Lundbreck. Close contacts have been notified.

60.2 per 100,000 – open status (less than 10 active cases)

Pincher Creek Region includes the Town of Pincher Creek; MD of Pincher Creek and its hamlets of Beaver Mines, Lowland Heights, Lundbreck, Pincher Station and Twin Butte; the Village of Cowley and Piikani Nation


Crowsnest Pass – 5 total

2 active, 3 recovered

31.6 per 100,000 – open status


Fort Macleod – 47 total

10 active, 34 recovered, 3 deaths

MD of Willow Creek (Calgary zone) = 91.3 per 100,000 (15 active in MD) – under enhanced watch


Cardston County/Kainai – 155 total 

33 active, 117 recovered, 5 deaths
* 3 new active

200.5 per 100,000 – under enhanced watch


I.D. Waterton – 0 

0 per 100,000 – open status


City of Lethbridge – 882 total

176 active, 699 recovered, 7 deaths
* 17 new active, 3 new recoveries

177.8 per 100,000 – under enhanced watch 

Acute-care outbreak – Chinook Regional Hospital
A new outbreak was declared Nov. 19 on the renal dialysis unit, where three healthcare workers have tested positive for Covid-19.

Public outbreak sites – Edith Cavell Care Centre, St. Michael’s Health Centre, Good Samaritan West Highland Centre, House of Cars, private gatherings (2) and Top Hat Adult Entertainment.

School outbreaks (open) – Gilbert Paterson Middle School, Chinook High School, Wilson Middle School, Senator Joyce Fairbairn Middle School

School outbreaks (watch) – Winston Churchill High School, Catholic Central High School


Lethbridge County – 293 total

75 active, 216 recovered, 2 deaths
* 10 new active

297.3 per 100,000 – under enhanced watch

School outbreak (open) – Barons School

School outbreak (watch) – St. Catherine’s School in Picture Butte, Kate Andrews High School in Coaldale

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County of Warner – 97 total 

16 active, 80 recovered, 1 death
* 3 new active

145.5 per 100,000 – open status


MD of Taber –199 total 

106 active, 91 recovered, 2 deaths
* 13 new active, 2 new recoveries

561.9 per 100,000 – under enhanced watch 

School outbreaks (open) – Taber Christian School Alternative Program, Taber Central School

School outbreak (watch) – W.R. Myers High School


City of Brooks – 1,267 total

44 active, 1,210 recovered, 13 deaths
* 4 new active, 2 new recoveries, 1 new death

222 per 100,000 – under enhanced watch

Public outbreak sites – Agecare Sunrise Gardens and Studio Elle

School outbreak (open) – Brooks Junior High School

School outbreak (watch) – Eastbrook Elementary School


County of Newell – 95 total 

23 active, 70 recovered, 2 deaths
* 1 new active, 3 new recoveries

284.2 per 100,000 – under enhanced watch

School outbreaks (open) – Duchess School, Bassano School


County of Forty Mile – 95 total 

23 active, 71 recovered, 1 death

357 per 100,000 – under enhanced watch 

School outbreak (open) – Burdett School


Cypress County – 110 total 

39 active, 71 recovered
* 1 new active, 3 new recoveries

347.6 per 100,000 – under enhanced watch


Medicine Hat – 219 total 

101 active, 116 recovered, 2 deaths
* 11 new active, 1 new recovery

148.4 per 100,000 – under enhanced watch

Public outbreak site – private dayhome

School outbreaks (open) – Crestwood School, Prairie Mennonite Alternative School, Medicine Hat High School


Oyen – 21 total 

8 active, 13 recovered
*3 new active

Acute-care outbreak – Oyen Health Centre
Declared Nov. 19 after two staff members tested positive for Covid-19

Special Areas 3 – 81.6 per 100,000 (2 active in area)
MD of Acadia – 1,629.7 per 100,000 (6 active in MD)

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Alberta Information by Zone
Sunday, Nov. 22

Updated Monday, Nov. 23

Calgary Zone

20,183 confirmed cases   +464

4,845 active cases   +231

15,152 recovered cases   +231

105 in hospital

14 in intensive care

186 deaths   +2

Edmonton Zone

19,151 confirmed cases   +796

5,991 active cases   +512

12,996 recovered cases   +283

163 in hospital

39 in intensive care

194 deaths   +1   

Central Zone

2,110 confirmed cases   +111

812 active cases   +98

1,286 recovered cases   +13

18 in hospital

2 in intensive care

12 deaths            

South Zone

3,528 confirmed cases   +69

664 active cases   +53

2,824 recovered cases   +15

25 in hospital

5 in intensive care

40 deaths    +1            

North Zone

3,264 confirmed cases   +92

748 active cases   +62

2,472 recovered cases   +29

17 in hospital

2 in intensive care

44 deaths   +1              

Unknown Zone

185 confirmed cases

106 active cases   

79 recovered cases

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Mandatory measures effective Nov. 13
For all Alberta communities and municipalities with “enhanced” status
Map is available at https://bit.ly/ABStatusMap

  • Restaurants, bars, lounges and pubs must stop liquor sales by 10 p.m. and close by 11. Applies to Class A, B, or C licences (in effect until Nov. 27)
  • 15-person limit on social and family gatherings — indoors and outdoors — where people are mixing and mingling
  • 50-person limit on indoor and outdoor wedding ceremonies and funeral services

Voluntary measures effective Nov. 13
For all Alberta communities and municipalities with “enhanced” status
Map is available at https://bit.ly/ABStatusMap

  • No social gatherings inside your home or outside of your community. Instead, socialize outdoors or in structured settings, like restaurants or other businesses that are subject to legal limits and take steps to prevent transmission
  • Limit of three cohorts: your core household, your school and one other sport or social cohort. Young children who attend child care can be part of four cohorts
  • Wear a mask in all indoor work settings, except when alone in a workspace or an appropriate barrier is in place
  • Employers in office settings should implement measures to reduce the number of employees in the workplace at one time
  • Faith-based gatherings limited to ⅓ capacity at one time

Mandatory measures specific to urban centres
Includes Lethbridge in the south zone along with Calgary and area, Edmonton and area, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie and Red Deer

  • Ban on indoor group fitness classes and team sport activities (in effect until Nov. 27)
  • Ban on group performance activities: singing, dancing and theatre (in effect until Nov. 27)

Further details are available at https://bit.ly/Nov13Enhanced

There are currently high rates of in-home transmission, with family members infecting one another and simple steps can have a big impact:

  • If you are sick with even mild symptoms, take steps to protect those around you.
  • Isolate yourself in the house in a separate bedroom and use a different bathroom than family members if possible.
  • If unable to isolate yourself within the home, wear a mask and disinfect common surfaces.
  • Do not eat with family members, share utensils or food, or spend prolonged time in close contact with them.
  • Do not leave the house, even if symptoms are mild and even if you don’t want to miss an important family gathering.


Pincher Creek Regional Emergency Management Organization operates a toll-free information number for those without Internet access to receive up-to-date information on the Covid-19 situation. 

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