In her daily update on Monday, Dr Deena Hinshaw said that Albertan's have done well to flatten the curve by adapting our lifestyles. She pointed out that a lot has changed since the first restrictions were put in place in early March. We all have new societal norms that we practice now that we didn't then. "The norms around hygiene and physical distancing are different today. We are in the habit of washing our hands thoroughly and often. We also maintain physical distance, we are well aware of what two metres looks like and are accustomed to keeping that distance between one another. These will remain habits and will in fact become even more important as we leave our homes more often."
Along with the positive behaviour of residents, Dr Hinshaw is feeling confident with lab capacity, testing capacity and contact tracing abilities. Testing factors and the daily numbers appearing to be dropping have made Hinshaw cautiously optimistic that we will be able to move ahead with the gradual relaunch later this week.
Due to the confidence in testing and the higher number of cases in the Calgary zone, Dr Hinshaw has once again expanded testing in the Calgary area. Testing will now include anyone who lives in the Calgary zone that is working outside the home, without any symptoms to be tested. If you fall into this category you may fill out the online assessment to to book a test. There will be a daily limit of 1000 people tested on a first come first serve basis. Priority will always be given to symptomatic patients first.
Within the past 24 hours, 73 people are in hospital with 12 in ICU, 4659 have recovered and there are 1524 active cases. In 24 hours, 2864 tests have been processed showing 47 new cases. Sadly, an additional 2 deaths have occurred in continuing care facilities one in the North zone and one in the Calgary zone.
Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism, Tanya Fir, also spoke during the update of a tool that will help businesses with the relaunch. They have created a website called Bizconnect that will help businesses learn more about the public health measures they need to have in place before reopening. It will help keep business staff safer while working during a pandemic. The website will be continually updated and the sectors included at the moment are hair salons, barber shops, day cares, day camps, restaurants, retail, museums and art galleries, outdoor shooting ranges and more. The website will also have a platform to ask questions.
Dr Hinshaw realizes that the impending relaunch is an emotional time for Albertans some may feel it is too fast and some may feel it is too slow. Once again, Alberta's top doctor says that we are in this together and it is up to all of us to make it happen. She says, "We are not going back, we cannot go back we must move forward."