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Coronavirus: Alberta limits large gatherings to slow spread of COVID-19

Alberta is taking aggressive new coronavirus measures, with large gatherings over 250 people to be cancelled.

This next step was taken as Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw updated the province’s COVID-19 tally to 23. Four new cases were reported in the last 24 hours.

“There is a window of opportunity for Alberta to slow the spread of the virus and thereby protect the health of Albertans,” she told media Thursday.

“That is why effective immediately, the emergency management Cabinet Committee has approved my recommendation that all large gatherings of more than 250 people, or international events in the province are to be canceled. This includes large sporting events, conferences and community events. It does not extend to places of worship grocery stores, airports or shopping centers.”

Hinshaw said with recent cases coming in after people were travelling in the United States, and the volume of travel between Canada and the US, she said it was the appropriate measure to take.

The risk to Albertans is still low, Hinshaw said, but with the number of cases that still seems to be coming in from international travel, they believe that risk of transmission continues to rise.

Four news cases, all travel-related, were reported in the past 24 hours.

One case is involving a Calgary child that tested positive for COVID-19 after a family vacation in Florida. They attended a daycare between March 2 and 6. That daycare has been temporarily closed. Immediate action was taken, and all close contacts are now self-isolating.

The other three new cases involve a woman in her thirties, a male in his fifties, and a woman in her seventies. They’re all from the Calgary zone.

The travellers returned from travelling in Jordan, Egypt, France, Germany, and the United States, specifically Florida.