April 18, 2020
RE: COVID-19 Update 26 (New Information in BLUE)
Vulcan County Regional Emergency Management Partners are continuing to monitor the COVID-19 situation in Alberta. The latest Government of Alberta media releases can be found at https://www.alberta.ca/news.aspx
All Vulcan County Fire Halls are closed to the public until further notice. The municipal offices of Vulcan County, the villages of Arrowwood, Carmangay, Champion, Lomond and Milo remain closed to the public while business operations are continuing. The Town of Vulcan municipal office remains open, however, we are urging the public to use municipal websites, email and telephone to answer their inquiries.
With increasing numbers of confirmed cases, it is imperative to follow proper personal hygiene and cleaning practices. Please follow these guidelines and watch your municipal websites for further updates.
Everyone, even persons not exhibiting symptoms or requiring mandatory self-isolation, is strongly encouraged to limit outings to a minimum and stay home; observe social distancing and avoid touching your face without first washing your hands.
Cases in Alberta and Vulcan County
The Government of Alberta is taking aggressive measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. Albertans are asked to be vigilant to prevent intensive care units from being overwhelmed.
For today, 165 new cases have been confirmed bringing the total to 2,562. There is 1 new fatality resulting from COVID-19 bringing the total number of fatalities to fifty one (51). A total of 96,897 Albertans have been tested. There are a total of 1,162 recoveries to date. There are 57 cases of infection requiring hospitalization, 14 of which are in the Intensive Care Unit, a number that is remaining steady and manageable.
There continue to be no confirmed cases within Vulcan County or the urban municipalities within its region, although testing has been undertaken for those with symptoms. Vulcan County is in the Calgary Health Zone.
Regional Emergency Management and local Physicians are strongly encouraging all residents to avoid shopping in centres where the transmission of Covid-19 is increasing dramatically, namely High River and Okotoks. Please shop as local as possible and stay close to home. We need to minimize the local impact of Covid-19. There are local meal, grocery and hardware options, as well as pharmacies in Vulcan and Arrowwood.
Support for Albertans
Truck drivers now have access to an interactive map or can dial 511 to find open restaurants, washrooms and showers on Alberta highways.
For those in financial distress, Emergency financial assistance programs are available and information can be found online. Some local programs are also available through Family and Community Support Services (FCSS).
The Government of Alberta has introduced rent controls that prohibit evictions before May 1, 2020, or increasing rents until the State of Public Health Emergency has been lifted.
Alberta Health Services has developed a COVID19 Resource Page for the Low German Mennonite Community. There is a Low German COVID19 overview video available HERE, as well as Low German pandemic history available HERE. An English and Low German COVID19 Screening audio can be found HERE.
The Bits and Pieces Program solicits voluntary contributions from the private sector toward the COVID19 relief commercial vehicles, hotel rooms and mobile trailers, food and water services, hospital gowns, face masks, ventilators and other personal protective equipment. Those wishing to contribute can submit their intention and contact details on this Online Portal.
Minister Leela Aheer and Erica Wiebe, Alberta Ambassador for Sport and Active Living, are challenging Albertans to maintain a healthy physical and mental lifestyle at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. They challenge Albertans to post their home wellness activities using the hashtag #HealthyAtHomeAB.
Alberta has expanded access to COVID-19 laboratory tests to better trace the spread of the novel coronavirus. In addition to testing in hard-hit areas and testing of vulnerable Albertans and essential workers, any individual exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 including cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat or shortness of breath, is now eligible for testing.
A list of daycare providers has been compiled for access by those working in health-care, critical infrastructure and first responders in the larger urban centres across Alberta.
A dedicated team of mental health professionals are available at the Mental Health Help Line by dialing 1-877- 303-2643 or the Addiction Help Line by dialing 1-866-332-2323.
Text4Hope sends subscribers text messages of support and encouragement to ease stress or anxiety. Albertans can text COVID 19 Hope to 393939 to subscribe. Take the time to connect with family and friends digitally or over the phone.
Alberta Connects Contact Centre is available seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Albertans can call toll- free from anywhere in the province by dialing 310-4455 for general information about the Government of Alberta and its response to COVID-19, or for help contacting individual program areas. This line cannot provide medical advice. Anyone who has health concerns or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should complete an online COVID-19 self-assessment.
Emergency Isolation Support
- The Government of Alberta’s Emergency Isolation Support program is now closed after successfully distributing about $91.7 million to 79,596 eligible Albertans since the launch of the program – close to double the amount originally allocated.
- This was a temporary program to provide one-time funding until the Government of Canada announced its own support program. The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is available starting April 6. Payments will be retroactive to March 15, 2020.
You are legally required to isolate if:
- you returned from travelling outside of Canada. You must isolate for 14 days from your return. If symptoms occur, you must remain in isolation for an additional 10 days from the onset of your symptoms or until you’re feeling better, whichever is longer.
- you have been identified by AHS as a close contact of a person(s) with COVID-19. You must isolate for 14 days from the date of your last exposure to COVID-19, plus an additional 10 days from the onset of any symptoms should they occur, whichever is longer.
- you have a COVID-19 symptom (cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose or sore throat) that is not related to a pre-existing illness or health condition. You must isolate for 10 days from the start of symptoms, or until symptoms resolve, whichever takes longer.
- If you are tested and the result is negative for COVID-19, you are not legally required to isolate.
- The Alberta Hope COVID-19 study will recruit 1,600 Albertans to determine whether a prescribed five- day treatment of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) can prevent hospitalization for those at highest risk of developing a severe illness.
- HCQ is originally an anti-malarial drug currently used mostly for immunological disorders like rheumatoid arthritis. Laboratory studies suggest it may be helpful against COVID-19.
- Alberta has expanded access to COVID-19 laboratory tests to better trace the spread of the novel coronavirus. In addition to testing in hard-hit areas and testing of vulnerable Albertans and essential workers, any individual exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 including cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat or shortness of breath, are now eligible for testing.
811 Health Link
Once again, people experiencing symptoms are to take the online self-assessment.
As a further reminder, 811-health link is for those who are feeling ill and seeking advice. DO NOT call 811 to report non-compliance of Public Health Orders; these can be reported to the Environmental Health Complaint.
- N95 masks are special protective masks that protect the wearer from airborne particles. These masks are recommended for health-care workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings such as acute care, primary care, long-term care, ambulatory clinics and community care, homecare and other locations in the community where health care is provided.
- Alberta Health has specific guidelines for personal protective equipment for these roles. N95 masks are not recommended for the general public, who will typically not find themselves in these settings.
If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others
- Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642
- Addiction Help Line at 1-866-332-2322
Check in with your loved ones often. Virtual communication can help you and your loved ones feel less lonely and isolated. Consider connecting with loved ones by:
- Mailing letters or cards
- Text messages
- Video chat
- Social media
Local Programs and Initiatives
Above information sourced from: