A female resident of a Calgary continuing care facility has become the second Albertan to die due to COVID-19.
On Tuesday afternoon, Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced the death of a woman in her 80s who lived in the McKenzie Towne Long Term Care. She said the woman appears to have contracted the virus by community transmission.
One staff member and two residents have also tested positive for COVID-19, while 11 additional residents are showing symptoms. The two residents are in stable condition, Hinshaw said.
While most people who become ill with COVID-19 may only experience mild symptoms, Hinshaw said it can make others “very sick.” Older people are the “most vulnerable group” for contracting COVID-19, Hinshaw said.
“This is why we have taken the and extreme measures we have and why I cannot emphasize enough the importance for all Albertans to follow all public health guidance,” she said.
Last week, a man in his 60s passed away in the Edmonton zone due to COVID-19.
The outbreak in a long-term care facility is prompting Alberta to make even more stringent plans to prevent further outbreaks in other centres, which Hinshaw said will be communicated when complete.
An additional 57 people have been confirmed to have COVID-19 since Monday, bringing the total number of infected Albertans to 358. Twenty-eight people are suspected to have become sick through community transmission, up by four Albertans compared to yesterday.
There has been no increase in the number of Albertans who have recovered from COVID-19, which remains at three people.
St. Albert has five people confirmed to have COVID-19, while the west Sturgeon area has four.
Hinshaw reminded Albertans of the province's updated self-isolation timeline for those who are sick. Anyone who is sick is being asked to self-isolate for 10 days from the first day symptoms appear, and if symptoms continue then isolation should as well.
The new guidelines come out of a study from Germany that showed eight days is the maximum time period COVID-19 was capable of transmitting, Hinshaw said.
For those who may have been exposed to the virus, self-isolation guidelines of 14 days are still in place.
Twelve medical professionals who attended a bonspiel in Edmonton March 11 to 14 have now tested positive for COVID-19, Hinshaw said, and all close contacts and patients they came into contact with have been notified.
Yesterday, Alberta announced new testing protocol that would be shifting away from returning travellers.
Anyone who is experiencing mild symptoms is encouraged to utilize Alberta Health Services’ online self-assessment tool and call 811 if they believe they are sick.
Albertans are encouraged to stay at home and not attend doctors' offices or hospitals unless symptoms are of an urgent nature.