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Alberta to focus on seniors residences, Increase support for caregivers – COVID update


12 minute read

Dr. Deena Hinshaw

From the Province of Alberta

Update 32: COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (April 14 at 5:30 p.m.)

There are now 914 confirmed recovered cases of COVID-19 in the province.

With 138 new cases reported, the total number of cases in Alberta is 1,870.

Two Albertans have died since the last report, bringing the total deaths in the province to 48.

Latest updates

  • Increased funding is being provided for Alberta caregivers to expand supports and resources.
  • Military families needing child care will now be able to access reopened child care centres.
  • Cases have been identified in all zones across the province:
    • 1,242 cases in the Calgary zone
    • 402 cases in the Edmonton zone
    • 107 cases in the North zone
    • 74 cases in the Central zone
    • 36 cases in the South zone
    • Nine cases in zones yet to be confirmed
  • Of these cases, there are currently 44 people in hospital, 14 of whom have been admitted to intensive care units (ICU).
  • 276 cases are suspected of being community acquired.
  • A total of 33 people have died in the Calgary zone, eight people have died in the Edmonton zone, six people have died in the North zone, and one person has died in the Central zone.
  • One of the recent deaths was at McKenzie Towne Continuing Care Centre in Calgary and the other was at Shepherd’s Care Kensington in Edmonton.
  • Stronger outbreak measures have been put in place at continuing care facilities. To date, 214 cases have been confirmed at these facilities, with a total of 30 deaths.
  • There have been 79,695 people tested for COVID-19 and a total of 82,649 tests performed by the lab. There were 2,868 tests completed in the last 24 hours.
  • Any individual exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 including cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat or shortness of breath, is now eligible for testing. People can access testing by completing the COVID-19 self-assessment online. A separate self-assessment tool is available for health-care and shelter workers, enforcement and first responders.
  • Effective April 15, continuing care workers will be required to wear masks at all times when providing direct patient care or working in patient care areas.
  • Starting April 16, workers in long-term care and designated supportive living sites will only be allowed to work at one location. This requirement must be fully implemented no later than April 23.

Continuous masking in health-care settings

More than 1.5 million masks have been shipped to 941 long-term care facilities, designated supportive living facilities, and addiction and mental health facilities across the province to support Alberta Health Services’ (AHS) Guidelines for Continuous Masking in Healthcare settings. AHS has also shipped and increased stock of four million masks to all AHS, Covenant Health, and subsidiary facilities. This week, 1,470 pharmacies will receive a total of 147,000 masks and 2.4 million gloves.

Increased supports for Alberta caregivers

The Alberta government is providing $3 million to Caregivers Alberta, a non-profit organization, to expand supports and resources for caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic and into the future.

Psychosocial, along with other peer and community supports, are currently available through the toll-free caregiver advisor line at 1-877-453-5088 and online at for all caregivers, including those caring for someone with COVID-19 or in self-isolation.

Access to justice

The Provincial Court of Alberta has clarified its process regarding the criminal fine payment extension. For more information:

Child care for military families

Military families needing child care will now be able to access reopened child care centres. Military personnel were originally not included in the list of provincial workers who can access child care, as they are overseen by the federal government.

The Alberta government is ensuring child care is not a barrier for military families so they can continue their essential work supporting, protecting and keeping Albertans safe.

Reducing spring wildfires and protecting municipalities

Alberta Wildfire is hiring 200 additional firefighters, invoking a fire ban in in the Forest Protection Area, implementing off-highway vehicle (OHV) restrictions on Crown land in the Forest Protection Area, increasing fine violations and funding $20 million more in community FireSmart initiatives to prepare for the upcoming wildfire season during COVID-19.

Alberta Parks is also implementing a fire ban in parks and protected areas. These early preparedness measures will ensure the province can effectively focus resources where they are needed most in the event of multiple emergencies happening at the same time.

For more information on wildfires, download the Alberta Wildfire app. Up-to-date information on fire restrictions, fire bans, OHV restrictions and general wildfire information is available at or by calling 1-866-FYI-FIRE (1-866-394-3473). To report a wildfire, call 310-FIRE (310-3473) toll-free, from anywhere in Alberta.

Road tests

Alberta is extending the suspension of road tests until the public health emergency ends and while procedures are developed to conduct road tests that prevent against the spread of COVID-19.

Road tests will resume when it is safe to do so. Albertans who have a road test cancelled as a result of this suspension of service will be able to rebook online once the public health emergency ends or later, at no additional charge.

Mental health supports

Confidential supports are available to help with mental health concerns. The Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642 and the Addiction Help Line at 1-866-332-2322 are available between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., seven days a week. Online resources provide advice on handling stressful situations or ways to talk with children.

Family violence prevention

A 24-hour Family Violence Information Line is available at 310-1818 to get anonymous help.

Alberta’s One Line for Sexual Violence is available at 1-866-402-8000, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., in more than 170 languages.

Information sheets and other resources on family violence prevention are available at

Quick facts

  • The most important measures that Albertans can take to prevent respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, is to practise good hygiene.
    • This includes cleaning your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, avoiding touching your face, coughing or sneezing into your elbow or sleeve, and disposing of tissues appropriately.
  • Anyone who has health concerns or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should complete an online COVID-19 self-assessment.
  • For recommendations on protecting yourself and your community, visit

Increased supports for Alberta caregivers

Government is providing $3 million to Caregivers Alberta to expand supports for caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic and into the future.

Funding to the non-profit organization will help expand support programs and resources for the almost one million Albertans who are caregivers for family and friends, and ensure the many dedicated Albertans caring for their loved ones at home or in the community have access to the supports they need to maintain their well-being.

“Caregivers are essential to the well-being and quality of life of over one million Albertans. This is particularly true as we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding to increase supports for caregivers is part of our government’s commitment to ensure that all Albertans are taken care of – during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.”

Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health

Caregivers Alberta is the only community organization in Alberta dedicated to the diverse needs of all Alberta caregivers. Funding will help Caregivers Alberta expand supports and increase the reach of these supports so more Albertans can benefit. Supports include:

  • Developing a public awareness campaign to highlight the importance of caregivers and their work.
  • Compiling an inventory of caregiver supports across the province.
  • Expanding the hours of the Caregiver Advisor phone line.
  • Establishing a referral system to link caregivers and Caregivers Alberta through health-care providers.
  • Updating and expanding support programs.
  • Providing employers with resources to support caregivers in the workplace.
  • Developing a coaching program for caregivers.

“Developing effective caregiver supports so Albertans can age well in their homes and communities is a priority for our government. This funding will make a big difference in the lives of many Albertans and I look forward to seeing the positive impact these additional supports will have on the lives of caregivers and those of their loved ones.”

Josephine Pon, Minister of Seniors and Housing

“Without family and friend caregivers, our health-care system would simply collapse – especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding will help support the almost one million caregivers across the province with caregiver-focused programs and services.”

Sandra Sereda, executive director, Caregivers Alberta

Psychosocial, along with other peer and community supports, are currently available through the toll-free caregiver advisor line at 1-877-453-5088 and online at for all caregivers, including those caring for someone with COVID-19 or in self-isolation. Medical concerns or questions about COVID-19 or how best to care for someone with COVID-19, are best directed to Alberta Health Services’ Health Link at 811. For up-to-date information on COVID-19 and tips on how to reduce your risk, visit Help prevent the spread.

Alberta has a comprehensive response to COVID-19 including measures to enhance social distancing, screening and testing. Financial supports are helping Alberta families and businesses.

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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New surveillance teams led by the Alberta Sheriffs working with local police in rural communities

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More boots on the ground to fight rural crime

Rural crime continues to be a top concern among residents and businesses in rural Alberta, which is why Alberta’s government remains committed to addressing it through enhanced surveillance and other crime reduction initiatives. Alberta’s government invested $4.3 million for the Alberta Sheriffs to put more boots on the ground. This investment supported the establishment of two plainclothes teams – one in northern Alberta and one in southern Alberta – to support police in carrying out surveillance on criminal targets in rural areas.

Both teams are now fully staffed and operational, ready to fight crime in rural areas across Alberta. These rural surveillance teams will work to prevent crime, monitor agricultural theft and work in collaboration with local law enforcement to share intelligence and resources to keep Albertans and their property safe and secure.

“Criminals and organized crime are not welcome in Alberta. Full stop. The addition of two new surveillance teams will further support our law enforcement partners in stamping out criminal activity in Alberta’s rural areas. This is about supporting local investigations to address local crime in our smaller communities. Together, both teams will form another key component of Alberta’s efforts to combat crime and ensure Albertans feel safe at home and in their communities, regardless of where they live.”

Mike Ellis, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Services

The Alberta Sheriffs have an existing surveillance unit that is part of the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) and focused mainly on serious and organized crime investigations. The new surveillance teams will fill a gap by helping rural RCMP detachments with local investigations.

“Through their specialized knowledge, training and experience, Alberta’s new surveillance teams are providing another important mechanism in the fight against crime in Alberta’s rural communities. Working in close collaboration with the RCMP and other policing agencies, their efforts will play a key role in gathering evidence and information that will help disrupt crime throughout the province.”

Mike Letourneau, superintendent, Alberta Sheriffs

“This announcement by the Alberta government and Minister Ellis is a positive step forward for the residents of Alberta, especially in rural areas. Targeting known criminals is a very effective way to reduce the level of crime taking place and will greatly assist the RCMP who have a vast area to police.”

Lance Colby, mayor, Town of Carstairs

“We are happy to hear about increased resources being allocated to assist our communities. Addressing rural crime is one of the top priorities of the Alberta RCMP, and our partners at the Alberta Sheriffs already play a vital role in keeping Albertans safe. The creation of these new surveillance teams will help augment our ongoing crime reduction strategies in Alberta communities, and we look forward to working with them going forward.”

Trevor Daroux, assistant commissioner, criminal operations officer, Alberta RCMP

The new surveillance teams are part of a suite of measures to expand the role of the Alberta Sheriffs and make Alberta communities safer. Other actions include the expansion of the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) unit – which uses legal sanctions and court orders to target problem properties where illegal activities are taking place – and the expansion of the RAPID Response initiative with funding for the Sheriff Highway Patrol to train and equip members to assist the RCMP with emergencies and high-priority calls.

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