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Not records we want to keep beating, Alberta!

Friday, 30 October 2020. Posted in Shootin' the Breeze

Not records we want to keep beating, Alberta!

These are not records
we want to keep beating, Alberta!

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

 

Confirmations of new cases of Covid-19 remain high, with today’s count of 622 the highest single-day number since the onset of the pandemic in March. There are now 5,172 active cases of the virus in Alberta and the south zone positivity rate for the past week is 6.7 per 100 tests.


 Halloween is upon us and everyone is reminded to follow safe protocols.

Trick-or-treating

  • Don’t go if feeling ill, even if symptoms are minor
  • Minimize contact with others — trick-or-treat with your family or cohort, stay in your community and stay two metres (six feet) apart from each other
  • Wash hands and disinfect packages before eating candy
  • Choose costumes that allow a non-medical mask too be worn underneath
  • Avoid touching doorbells or railings. Call “trick-or-treat” from two metres away, knock instead of using doorbells and use hand sanitizer after touching surfaces.

Handing out candy

  • Don’t hand out candy if feeling ill or isolating
  • Ask trick-or-treaters to knock or call out instead of ringing the doorbell
  • Wear a non-medical mask that fully covers your nose and mouth
  • Use tongs to hand out pre-packaged candy to avoid handling treats

Find creative ways to maintain distance from trick-or-treaters

  • Hand out treats from your driveway or front lawn
  • Make candy bags and space out on a table or blanket. Don’t leave out self-serve bowls of bulk candy.
  • Set up a table or desk to help keep yourself distanced
  • Build a candy slide, candy catapult or other fun, non-touch delivery method

Halloween parties

  • Stay home if feeling ill, even if symptoms are mild
  • Choose games and activities that don’t use shared items and allow people to stay two metres (six feet apart)
  • Host your party outdoors if weather permits
  • If you must stay indoors, reduce gathering size, ensure there is space for physical distancing between people from separate families and cohorts, and provide hand sanitizer
  • Spend time with people you know — the smaller the group the better
  • Don’t share drinks, food, cigarettes, vapes or cannabis
  • Wash or sanitize your hands often

Effective Monday, runny nose and sore throat will be removed from the list of core symptoms requiring mandatory isolation for those under the age of 18. This includes the daily checklist used for school and child care settings.

It is important to note the change applies only to those with no known exposure to Covid-19. If a child is a close contact or known to have been exposed in the previous 14 days and develops symptoms, testing is recommended and the child must still isolate.

If a child has only one of the non-core symptoms on the checklist, they should stay home and monitor for 24 hours. If the symptom improves, testing is not necessary and the child can resume normal activities once feeling well.

If a child has two or more of the non-core symptoms, or if one of their symptoms gets worse, testing is recommended and they should stay home until the symptoms go away or they test negative for Covid-19 and feel better.

Symptoms, testing recommendations and isolation requirements remain in place for those over the age of 18.


Mandatory health measures remain in effect for Calgary and Edmonton in an effort to decrease spread in those areas.

Social gatherings are now limited to 15 people. This applies to social, mix-and-mingle types of events like dinner parties, wedding and funeral receptions, banquets and other gatherings.

Gathering limits for structured gatherings and events like visiting restaurants, theatres, worship services or wedding and funeral ceremonies.

This temporary limit will be reassessed after one month.


Voluntary measures are also in place for residents of and visitors to the City of Calgary and for the City of Edmonton and its surrounding communities.

It is recommended that non-medical masks be worn in all indoor work settings unless workers are alone in workspaces like offices or cubicles, or are safely distanced by appropriate barriers.

Cohorts should also be reduced. Individuals should have no more than three cohorts. This could include a core/household cohort, a school cohort and one other social or sport cohort. Young children attending child care may be part of four cohorts.


Provincial week in review

Comparison from Oct. 23 to today:

With 622 new cases of Covid-19 reported today, the provincial total has increased by 3,403 since last Friday to 27,664. 

There have been 91,186 tests conducted since then, for an average positivity rate across Alberta of 3.7 per cent.

So far 1,267,318 Albertans have been tested for Covid-19 for a total of 1,789,173 tests.

The number of active cases in the province increased by 1,521 for a total of 5,172.

There were 1,859 recoveries for a total of 22,169, and 23 deaths were reported, bringing the total to 323. 

Between last Friday and today, the number of Albertans hospitalized increased by 28 to 140 and intensive care admissions increased to 25.

Outbreaks with two or more confirmed cases in individuals who have been present at a school in the past 14 days, are reported at 111 Alberta schools. Forty-five are under “watch” status (five or more cases), while the others all have “open” status.

Of all Alberta Covid-19 cases reported since Oct. 23, the suspected route of transmission in 985 instances is being a close contact of a positive case, is outbreak-associated for 519 cases, is travel-related in 54 cases and is unknown for 1,838. 

The age groups associated with these same cases are:
under one year – 19
one to four years – 100
five to nine years 137
10 to 19 years – 490
20 to 29 years – 613
30 to 39 years – 608
40 to 49 years – 551
50 to 59 years – 375
60 to 69 years – 214
70 to 79 years – 125
and 80+ years – 163


South zone week in review

Comparison from Oct. 23 to today:

With 47 new cases of Covid-19 reported in Alberta’s south zone today, the zone total has increased by 184 since last Friday to 2,379. 

As of today, 82,113 south zone residents have been tested for the virus — 2,758 of those tests being in the past week. The Oct. 29 positivity rate for the south zone is about 6.7 per cent.

The number of active cases in the south zone has increased by 42, for a total of 276.

There have been 140 recoveries for a total of 2,074. 

With two deaths in the zone this week, the total is now 29. Both of the deceased were men from Lethbridge, one in his 40s, the other in his 90s. 

The number of people hospitalized increased by two to six, with four in intensive care.

There are now eight public outbreak sites identified in Lethbridge, one in Coalhurst and one in Coaldale.

The MD of Taber was on the “watch” list for one day and, as of Friday, again has “open” status.

Today the County of Newell joined Lethbridge County, Brooks and the City of Lethbridge on the “watch” list.


Regular daily update

In total, 27,664 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Alberta. Today’s update includes 622 new cases confirmed from 12,938 tests conducted for a provincial positivity rate of about 4.8 per cent.

Pincher Creek region remains free of confirmed cases of the virus and there is one active case in Crowsnest Pass.

There have been 366 recoveries since the last report, for a provincial recovery rate of about 80 per cent — 22,169 have recovered so far from the virus.

The number of active cases in Alberta has increased by 379 since yesterday to 5,172. 

To date, there have been 323 Covid-19 related deaths in Alberta. Five new deaths were reported today.

There are 140 people hospitalized, with 25 admitted to intensive care. 


Outbreaks with two or more confirmed cases in individuals who have been present at a school in the past 14 days, are reported at 111 Alberta schools. Forty-five are under “watch” status (five or more cases), while the others all have “open” status.

Five south zone schools remain on the outbreak list. 

Four are in Lethbridge — St. Teresa of Calcutta School, Ecole La Verendrye, St. Francis Junior High School and Ecole St. Mary School. 

The fifth, W.R. Myers High School is in the Municipal District of Taber.

Holy Spirit Catholic School Division announced late Thursday that one case of Covid-19 has been confirmed at St. Catherine’s School in Picture Butte and another at Catholic Central High School in Lethbridge, which moves this school to the outbreak level with two to four active cases (this is not yet reflected in AHS statistics). Close contacts at both schools have been informed, and are isolating and following AHS guidance.

As of Thursday, schools in the Holy Spirit division have a total of seven active cases, requiring the isolation of approximately 120 staff and students.

Livingstone Range School Division reported its first positive case on Tuesday with an individual case at Willow Creek Composite High School in Claresholm. This impacted 26 students and three staff members and is worthy of note due to its proximity, even though not in the south zone.

The Government of Alberta school outbreak map can be found at https://bit.ly/2FeS3FR. It currently identifies schools with two or more confirmed cases.

When a single case is confirmed to have been present at a school while infectious, and any time an outbreak of two or more cases is declared, all parents and guardians will receive a letter from AHS through their school informing them of the situation, the actions being taken and steps that will follow. 


South Zone Information – 2,379 total cases  

276 active, 47 new, 27 recoveries

2,074 people (about 87 per cent of confirmed south zone cases) have recovered from Covid-19. 

Twenty-nine people have died since the onset of the pandemic in March.

Six people are currently hospitalized with four in intensive care.

Eight outbreak sites have been identified in Lethbridge — Edith Cavell Care Centre, Columbia Assisted Living, Extendicare Fairmont Park, Lethbridge Family Services, Cavendish Farms, Children’s House Child Care Society, Meridian Manufacturing and New Life Pentacostal Church (Gospel Fire Evangelical). 

Lethbridge Coalhurst Good News Centre in Coalhurst and ROC Christian Ministries in Coaldale are also listed as public outbreak sites in the zone.

The cities of Lethbridge and Brooks, and Lethbridge County all remain under “watch” status. The County of Newell was added to this list today.

“Watch” status is triggered when there are 10 active cases of Covid-19 and a value of 50 or more infections per 100,000 people.

The County of Newell has 11 active cases in a population of 8,093, which works out to 135.9 per 100,000.

The City of Lethbridge has 159 active cases in a population of 98,987, which is equivalent to 160.6 per 100,000.

Lethbridge County has 27 active cases of Covid-19 in a population of 25,228, which equals 107 per 100,000. 

Brooks has 36 active cases in a population of 19,297, equating 186.6 cases per 100,000 population.

Nearby, the MD of Willow Creek now has a “watch” in place as well, where 22 active cases in a population of 16,427 works out to 133.9 per 100,000.

Gathering restrictions and public health orders are in place with no additional measures at this time.


Community Breakdown for Friday, Oct. 30

Data is up-to-date as of midnight Oct. 29

* Indicates a change in statistics since the last report 

THE NEXT UPDATE WILL BE TUESDAY, NOV. 3

Pincher Creek Region – 27 total
0 active, 25 recovered, 2 deaths

Crowsnest Pass – 3 total
1 active, 2 recovered

Fort Macleod – 34 total
1 active, 30 recovered, 3 deaths
* 1 new active

Cardston County/Kainai – 110 total
6 active, 99 recovered, 5 deaths

I.D. Waterton – 0 

City of Lethbridge – 511 total
159 active, 348 recovered, 4 deaths
* 22 new active, 18 new recoveries

Lethbridge County – 140 total
27 active, 112 recovered, 1 death
* 3 new active, 2 new recoveries

County of Warner – 72 total
6 active, 65 recovered, 1 death

MD of Taber – 54 total
9 active, 45 recovered
* 1 new recovery

City of Brooks – 1,178 total
36 active, 1,133 recovered, 9 deaths
* 13 new active, 1 new recovery

County of Newell – 49 total
11 active, 36 recovered, 2 deaths
* 5 new active, 2 new recoveries

County of Forty Mile – 51 total
8 active, 43 recovered
* 2 new active

Cypress County – 38 total
3 active, 35 recovered
* 2 new recoveries

Medicine Hat – 95 total
8 active, 85 recovered, 2 deaths
* 2 new active, 1 new recovery

Oyen – 13 total
0 active, 13 recovered

*** 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.


1-855-627-5365

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. 


All Covid-positive cases are followed up urgently by Alberta Health Services. If you have a positive test, you will be contacted directly by AHS. The Communicable Disease Control team does confidential contact tracing and follows stringent guidelines to determine who is considered a close contact. Those people will be contacted directly.

If you have a positive test, you are not expected to do your own contact tracing and are discouraged from doing so as many factors determine who is considered to be a close contact.

If you have not been contacted by AHS, you are not considered to be a close contact of a positive Covid-19 case.


School classifications are “open,” “watch,” and “enhanced.”

Open – No schools in this area have outbreaks of five or more cases. Schools remain open under Scenario 1, with near-normal operations with some public health measures. Parents may have received an alert from their school. AHS may be working with local schools, but any additional measures are localized and targeted.

Watch – School outbreak declared with five or more cases where disease could have been acquired or transmitted in the school. Schools remain open under Scenario 1 with the province monitoring risk and working with the school, school authority and AHS. Additional public health measures may be in the place within a school to control the spread.

Enhanced – Risk levels require enhanced measures to control the spread at a school or school authority level. Schools may be moved to Scenario 2 (in-school classes partially operating) or Scenario 3 (at-home learning).


South zone residents are to continue following all public health orders and gathering restrictions:

  • Minimum mandatory isolation for 14 days for anyone who is a close contact of someone with Covid-19, or who return to, or entered Alberta from outside of Canada
  • Minimum mandatory isolation for 10 days for anyone who has a confirmed case of Covid-19 or symptoms that are not related to a pre-existing illness or health condition: cough, fever, shortness or breath, runny nose or sore throat
  • Gatherings are limited to 50 people for indoor social events (such as weddings and funerals), 100 for outdoor social events and indoor seated/audience events, and 200 for audience-type community outdoor events.
  • No additional measures are currently in place but people are to continue maintaining physical distancing of two metres from people outside of one’s own household or cohort and to continue practising good hand hygiene.
  • The province’s relaunch status map can be viewed at COVID-19 relaunch status map | alberta.ca

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