From the Province of Alberta
One Albertan has died as a result of the virus, the first COVID-19 related death in the province. Aggressive public health measures continue to help limit the spread of COVID-19.
- 27 additional cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Alberta, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 146.
- Cases have been identified in all zones across the province:
- 101 cases in the Calgary zone
- 29 cases in the Edmonton zone
- 10 cases in the North zone
- Three cases in the Central zone
- Three cases in the South zone
- Of these cases, five are currently hospitalized, two admitted to intensive care units (ICU), and one patient has died.
- The individual was a male in his 60’s who had been admitted to ICU in the Edmonton zone on March 12 and had pre-existing conditions. This is the first confirmed COVID-19 related death in the province.
- Aggregate data, showing cases by age range and zone, as well as by local geographical areas, is available online at alberta.ca/covid19statistics. This site had 1,276 visits in its first 24 hours.
- Pharmacists have been working hard to help Albertans assess and screen for COVID-19. A new billing code has been created for this service.
- To ensure Albertans continue to have access to essential medications and to help pharmacists address situations where some individuals are attempting to stockpile medication, we are recommending pharmacies have the discretion to provide a maximum 30-day supply of prescription drugs.
- Some Albertans may need to refill their prescriptions more frequently than usual. They should speak with their pharmacist for advice on when it is appropriate to fill their prescriptions.
- To assist with the added associated costs, those with Alberta government-sponsored Coverage for Seniors and Non-Group Coverage will pay a lower copayment of up to $8 per prescription for a 30-day supply. The current copayment is up to $25 per prescription. Albertans with other coverage should consult with their benefits provider.
- Currently, there is no strong evidence to indicate ibuprofen could make COVID-19 symptoms worse beyond the usual known side-effects that limit the use of ibuprofen in certain populations. Albertans should consult with a doctor about what is best for them.
- Albertans can now meet with Alberta-licensed physicians through their smartphone, thanks to an initiative by TELUS Health. Find more information and download the app here.
- Social distancing measures continue to be an important way to minimize the spread of COVID-19. A tip sheet is available to help Albertans understand ways to minimize close contact with others in community settings.
- Mass gathering limitations and restrictions around public recreation and private entertainment facilities remain in place across the province.
Emergency isolation support
$50 million is being made available for Albertans who must self-isolate and do not have another source of pay or compensation while they are self-isolated.
A one-time payment of $1,146 will be distributed to bridge the gap until the federal emergency payments begin in April.
Applications for emergency isolation support will be available on Alberta.ca next week.
Student loans and apprenticeship training
Government will implement a six-month, interest-free moratorium on student loan payments for all individuals who are in the process of repaying these loans.
The March-April and May-June intakes for apprenticeship training are cancelled.
Apprenticeship students who started classroom instruction on or after March 2 should discuss tuition refund options with institutions, and will receive priority for fall intake. Apprenticeship students who started classroom instruction before March 2 will be advised by their institution about next steps for distance learning options, assessments and completion.
Information for travellers
Travel outside the country is strongly discouraged. Given the rapid global spread of the virus, it is no longer possible to assess health risks for the duration of the trip.
Any traveller returning from outside of the country should self-isolate for 14 days, even if they are feeling well, and monitor for symptoms.
Any traveller who has returned before March 12 should closely monitor themselves for symptoms. If they experience symptoms, they should self-isolate immediately and call Health Link 811 for follow-up assessment and testing.
The Alberta government and Travel Alberta have launched a campaign to inform Canadians travelling in the United States and Mexico about the importance of returning home.
COVID-19 related information has been provided for departing and returning passengers at the international airports in both Edmonton and Calgary. This information has also been shared with all airports in Alberta and several airlines.
- 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, disposing of tissues appropriately, and staying home and away from others if you are sick.
- 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 alberta.ca/COVID19.
Edmonton triples venture capital investment in 2023
Alberta’s tech sector continues its strong momentum, with Edmonton seeing its strongest growth ever, proof Alberta remains a hot tech market.
As global and national investment have declined, Alberta has remained a strong tech market and is showing continued leadership, as shown by Pitchbook ranking Calgary as the 12th fastest-growing tech ecosystem in the world and LinkedIn ranking Calgary as one of the best places to hire and recruit tech workers.
At the end of 2023, Alberta’s five-year growth rate for venture capital dollars invested reached an impressive 48.5 per cent, more than triple Canada’s compounded average growth rate of 13 per cent, according to the 2023 Canadian Venture Capital Private Equity Association fourth-quarter report.
The province’s growth rate means Alberta finished 2023 with $707 million invested over 86 deals, in line with Alberta’s 2022 record-breaking year. In contrast, Canada ended the year with a 31 per cent decline in investments. Over the past five years, Alberta technology companies have secured more than $2.7 billion in venture capital funding across 350 deals, creating thousands of jobs for Albertans.
“While Canada as a whole saw massive declines, Alberta has held steady. We are a major venture capital player in Canada, as technology drives growth across all sectors.”
Alberta’s two largest cities continued to attract investment dollars in 2023, with Calgary and Edmonton coming in fourth and fifth respectively for number of deals, with $501 million invested in 64 deals in Calgary and $188 million invested in 21 deals in Edmonton. Edmonton saw a 324 per cent increase from $58 million in 2022 to $188 million in 2023. In total, Alberta captured 10.3 per cent of dollars invested in 2023 and 13 per cent of venture capital deals in Canada.
“Edmonton’s tripling of venture capital investment in 2023 underscores our city’s position as a dynamic tech capital within Alberta’s thriving innovation ecosystem, reaffirming our role as a powerhouse driving technological advancement and economic prosperity across diverse sectors. It is the local innovators’ relentless pursuit of solutions to real-world problems, with the continuing support of the Government of Alberta, which not only attracts significant investment but also propels our city to the forefront of Alberta’s tech revolution and fosters job creation for our community.”
“At Platform Calgary we are working with our partners to continue this momentum by linking up high potential tech startups with the investors that can help them take their businesses to the next level. The evidence is clear, Alberta is emerging as one of the most exciting and resilient tech ecosystems in the world. Together with our growing tech community, we can secure Alberta’s position as the best place in the world for anyone to launch and grow a tech business.”
Alberta remains a growing market for the technology and innovation sector, and Alberta’s government celebrates its steady contribution to the Alberta economy, including in the fourth quarter of 2023. The end of last year saw venture capital investments in the province increase by 35 per cent for dollars invested and 19 per cent for deals closed compared with the third quarter. There were 25 deals closed valued at a combined $173 million in the fourth quarter of 2023.
Shining a spotlight on Alberta athletes, sport leaders
Alberta’s government is continuing to support the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, so it can showcase the province’s sport legacy for years to come.
The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame celebrates the accomplishments of more than 1,600 Albertans, from Olympic gold medallists to community sport leaders. To continue supporting this long-standing legacy, the government is providing $302,500 to the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame Museum. This funding will support the operations of the facility and the organization’s management and delivery of the annual Alberta Sport Recognition Awards.
“Alberta’s future is stronger when we understand and preserve our history and celebrate our successes. Places like the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame help us do just that. I’m proud our government is supporting it, as it spotlights Albertans with incredible athletic achievements and community contributions.”
“The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame has long been a cherished attraction in our community, offering Albertans inspiration and a window into the remarkable legacy of our athletes and community sport leaders. With our government’s investment in this institution, Red Deer’s tourism will undoubtedly grow, bringing significant benefits to our community and surrounding areas.”
“I am pleased to see the government’s support for the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame continue. This organization enriches the sport community in central Alberta, inspires the next generation of athletes and preserves our province’s history in sport excellence.”
The Hall of Fame provides a space where the accomplishments of the sport community in Alberta are preserved and inspires the province’s future athletes and community leaders. Albertans recognized in the Hall of Fame include Melody Davidson, who was inducted in 2008 for her excellence in hockey, serving as a two-time Olympic gold medal-winning head coach for Team Canada women’s hockey, and Lanny McDonald, who was inducted in 1993 following a long and successful career in professional hockey. Last year, 12 inductees were nominated, including Patrick Jarvis and Theresa Maxwell for their success in Paralympics and volleyball.
This funding will ensure that Albertans can continue to celebrate the province’s turning-point moments and growing legacy in sport.
“We are grateful for the support we have received from the Alberta government. Their funding has played a pivotal role in sustaining the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, allowing us to preserve and celebrate the rich sporting history of our province. This support not only enhances our ability to showcase the achievements of the athletes, teams and sport champions but also reinforces the significant role sport plays in our community.”
“Red Deer proudly stands as a hub for sports excellence, and the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame plays a pivotal role in preserving and promoting our province’s rich athletic legacy. The City of Red Deer is grateful for the Alberta government’s continued support, ensuring that this institution continues to inspire future generations by showcasing the remarkable achievements of our athletes and community leaders.”
The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame helps grow tourism in Red Deer and the surrounding area by attracting visitors to the facility to enjoy interactive sport-oriented games and activities and sport memorabilia. In the past two years, an estimated 20,000 people have visited the Hall of Fame annually. Exhibits on different sports and sport organizations, including the Hall of Fame Gallery that showcases the athletes and sport builders who have been inducted annually since 1957, are also available to view.
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