COVID-19: Alberta school closures, if implemented, could last until September

Alberta Health tightened restrictions on Sunday when they announced school classes would be cancelled and religious gathering limited, after discovering the first indications of community spread of COVID-19 within the province.

Alberta's chief medical health officer confirmed 10 more cases of COVID-19 in the province on Saturday, saying two of the patients were in intensive care.

Conversations with Alberta Health and key education stakeholders found limiting possible transmission while keeping classes open would be hard to maintain, including social distancing measures and adequate sanitizing supplies, according to Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health. I know some Albertans will wonder if these restrictions were truly necessary.

"As I have repeatedly said, this is our new normal".

Duckworth said closing city facilities was an "incredibly difficult" decision.

Hinshaw detailed what her life has been like in self-isolation, following recommendations set by the province.

"We will be indefinitely cancelling classes across the province".

Approved day homes are exempt because they care for fewer than seven children at a time, including their own. "You don't need a lab test to stay home if you're sick". We are all in this together.

"We expect every student to receive a final mark, and students will progress to the next grade level next year". At this time, diploma exams essential for post-secondary acceptance will continue.

"I know these are challenging times for everyone", said LaGrange, who said she would provide more details in the near future.

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Of the 17 new cases, 14 are in the Calgary zone and three are in the Edmonton zone. Currently, five individuals are receiving treatment in hospital and are in stable condition.

She says the situation is rapidly changing, and nearly all of Alberta will be affected in some way.

Alberta Health said Hinshaw experienced symptoms of a cold "likely due to the long working hours that she has been working in recent weeks".

Given the possibility of community spread, the Alberta government is cancelling all K-12 school classes and daycares until further notice.

Hinshaw delivered an update on the novel coronavirus on March 16 via video conference after reporting mild symptoms of a cold.

Kenney said everyone understands during a pandemic there will be a peak demand for health care, and Tuesday's move aims to plan for that to avoid facilities exceeding capacity.

Albertans breathed a collective, but socially distant, sigh of relief Tuesday after the public face of the province's coronavirus battle tested negative for the virus.

Any at-risk passengers affected by the domestic flights are asked to isolate for 14 days after their arrival.

Visitors to long-term care and continuing care facilities should be restricted to only essential visits, said Hinshaw.

Any event that has more than 50 attendees and expects to have worldwide participants, or involves critical infrastructure staff, seniors, or other high-risk populations, should also be cancelled.

  • Ismael Montgomery