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Coronavirus update: Alberta cases upped to 7

Seven cases of coronavirus are now confirmed in Alberta, with two more reported in the Calgary-zone.

Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said all of the cases so far have been related to travel.

Of the newest cases, two are connected to previous cases reported in Alberta. A woman in her 70s from the Edmonton zone was connected to the March 8 case of an Edmonton man who returned from the Grand Princess cruise ship.   

A man in his 30s from the Calgary zone was connected to a woman in her 30s also announced yesterday. They had been travelling in Ukraine, Turkey and the Netherlands.

A woman in her 50s was on-board the MS Braemar cruise ship from Feb. 11 to March 4. She developed symptoms after her return home and was tested at an assessment centre on March 8.

Hinshaw said this identification of these close contacts is a part of the aggressive public health response to coronavirus.

“Catching these cases quickly, is exactly what the system is designed to do,” she told reporters.

“By acting quickly to isolate close contacts of COVID-19 cases, we help prevent the virus’s spread and protect Albertans.”

More than 1,000 tests for coronavirus have been conducted in the past two days, with those seven being Alberta’s only confirmations. Due to the confirmation of the tests, Alberta’s testing now is considered enough to confirm the coronavirus.

Coronavirus testing – What you might expect

Hinshaw described a hypothetical process Albertans could expect if they believe they may have coronavirus.

  • If you’ve returned from travel and you start to feel sick with a cough and fever, call Health Link 811. There are wait time issues, especially at peak times, but Hinshaw asked that people be patient to get through to operators.
  • There are assessment centres open in Calgary and Edmonton, patients will be directed to nearest assessment centre.
  • They will be greeted by health professional and given a mask at the door.
  • A swab will be taken.
  • The patient will be assessed for health stability.
  • They will be provided with instructions for their care while waiting for the confirmation on the test results.