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Coronavirus daily briefing – March 30: Five new deaths; mandatory home isolation

Five people have died in the past 24 hours due to the coronavirus, and now Alberta health officials are making it mandatory to stay on one’s property if you’re in self-isolation.

While there were only 29 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the provincial total to 690, the five deaths were a spike in numbers, as only three had been recorded up to this point.

“This has been one of the hardest days yet, imagining the grief that these families are facing,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.

“And my heart goes out to them; these deaths speak to the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Dr. Hinshaw conceded that the lower number of positive test results were likely due to ceasing tests for returning travellers and a decrease in the number of tests. This is due to a challenge in acquiring some of the lab testing supplies.

Of the 690 provincial cases, 65 are suspected to be due to community transmission. Dr. Hinshaw said this was a concerning number.

“We must redouble our efforts to protect those who are most vulnerable to the effects of this virus,” she said.

Ninety-four people have recovered from the coronavirus.

Mandatory coronavirus isolation on one’s property

After consulting with health colleagues across the country, Dr. Hinshaw said they would be adopting similar Quarantine Act measures to others. These prevent people from leaving their properties if they are in self-isolation due to travel of the appearance of symptoms.

If you came back from outside of Canada, or are a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19, or if you have symptoms, you must stay on your property, Dr. Hinshaw said.

“You are only permitted to go outdoors on your deck in your yard, or on a balcony. Under no circumstances should you leave your property during the 14 days of self-isolation,” she said.

“This means that if you were under mandatory self-isolation, you could no longer go for walks in your neighborhood or at the park, until your self isolation period and do not have visitors over. Do not go to public areas and spaces or community settings, arrange to have someone pick up the essentials like groceries or medication for you.”