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Alberta

THE 100 MILLION DOLLAR ANNOUNCEMENT – First Phase of Red Deer Regional Hospital Expansion to start in 2021!

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The Government of Alberta announces a major $100 million first phase expansion of the Red Deer Hospital.

First phase of Red Deer hospital expansion announced

The Alberta government is committing $100 million to begin expansion of the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.

LIVE: Announcing a much-needed expansion for the Red Deer Hospital

Posted by Jason Kenney on Wednesday, February 26, 2020

This capital funding is in addition to the $20.6 billion annual budget for health services, the highest ever in the province and the highest per capita of all provinces.

“For years, residents of central Alberta and Red Deer have been calling for their hospital to be expanded. Our government is the first to listen. I’m proud to announce funding will be made available as part of Budget 2020 for the first phase of the Red Deer hospital expansion.”

Jason Kenney, Premier

The Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre is the busiest hospital outside Edmonton and Calgary and has operated beyond its design capacity for many years.

The funding will expedite work to finalize the project scope, construction schedule, operating budget, and expansion of health care services at the facility.

“Past governments wasted years on half-measures and planning that we are completing now. This initial $100-million commitment is our promise to Red Deer that we will get this done right, and as soon as possible.”

Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health

“Designing, planning and building health infrastructure provides good jobs for Albertans. We are committed to getting the front-end work of this project right so that the people of Red Deer and surrounding areas have a hospital that meets their needs.”

Prasad Panda, Minister of Infrastructure

“The Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre is one of the busiest hospitals in Alberta and is the primary health-service provider for our citizens, the regional population, and every Albertan travelling along the central QEII corridor. Today’s announcement by the Government of Alberta responds to this longstanding infrastructure need of our community. The lives, health and well-being of our loved ones matter most of all, and this vital investment and expansion will help ensure access to care and improved health outcomes that the people of Red Deer and central Alberta critically need.”

Tara Veer, mayor, City of Red Deer

“This is excellent news for Red Deer and all of central Alberta. The Red Deer community has long advocated for improvements to the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre, and this initial funding commitment clearly demonstrates our government’s willingness to listen to, and act upon, the concerns of Albertans from all across the province.”

Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education and MLA for Red Deer-North

“This is great news for central Albertans! Thank you to the leadership of Premier Kenney and Minister Shandro in hearing the concerns of central Albertans and taking decisive action to improve access to much-needed health services in our community.”

Jason Stephan, MLA for Red Deer-South

Quick facts

  • The Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre provides a full spectrum of acute care, including advanced surgery, internal medicine and diagnostics, as well as obstetrics, pediatrics, oncology, critical care and emergency care.
  • Approximately 50 per cent of patients seen at the hospital are referred from outside Red Deer.
  • The population of the Red Deer area is expected to increase by 24 per cent to 358,000 by 2035.

 

Alberta

Just 28 new COVID cases reported in Alberta, but 3 more deaths for a total of 32

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From the Province of Alberta

Update 27: COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (April 9)

There are now 592 confirmed recovered cases of COVID-19 in the province.

With 28 new cases reported, the total number of cases in Alberta is 1,451.

Another three Albertans have died since the last report, bringing the total deaths in the province to 32.

Latest updates

  • Expanded access to testing has begun to better trace the spread of COVID-19 in hard-hit areas and in vulnerable residents.
  • Albertans are strongly encouraged to stay home and in the province this long weekend.
  • Cases have been identified in all zones across the province:
    • 878 cases in the Calgary zone
    • 376 cases in the Edmonton zone
    • 97 cases in the North zone
    • 72 cases in the Central zone
    • 26 cases in the South zone
    • Two cases in zones yet to be confirmed
  • Of these cases, there are currently 47 people in hospital, 14 of whom have been admitted to intensive care units (ICU).
  • 192 cases are suspected of being community acquired.
  • There are now a total of 592 confirmed recovered cases.
  • Two new deaths are from the Calgary zone, bringing the total in this zone to 22. One additional person has died in the Edmonton zone, bringing the number of deaths to five in this zone. Four people have died in the North zone, and one person has died in the Central zone.
  • Stronger outbreak measures have been put in place at continuing care facilities. To date, 151 cases have been confirmed at these facilities.
  • There have been 68,116 people tested for COVID-19 and a total of 70,247 tests performed by the lab. There were 1,333 people tested in the last 24 hours.
  • Aggregate data, showing cases by age range and zone, as well as by local geographic areas, is available online at alberta.ca/covid19statistics.
  • All Albertans need to work together to help prevent the spread and overcome COVID-19.
  • Restrictions remain in place for all gatherings and close-contact businesses, dine-in restaurants and non-essential retail services. A full list of restrictions is available online.
  • Tighter restrictions have been placed on visitors to continuing care centres, group homes and other facilities. No visitors will be allowed unless a resident is dying or the visitor is essential for delivering care that cannot be delivered by staff.
  • As Albertans look forward to the holiday weekend, they are being reminded to:
    • avoid gatherings outside of their immediate household
    • visit over coffee remotely and virtually
    • try to shop for groceries outside of peak hours
    • limit Easter egg hunts to inside or on their property
    • find ways to connect while being physically separated
    • worship in a way that does not put people at risk, including participating in virtual or live-streamed religious celebrations

More guidelines for faith-based organizations can be found online.

Expanding testing to meet needs of Albertans

Alberta is expanding access to COVID-19 laboratory tests to better trace the spread of the novel coronavirus in hard-hit areas and in vulnerable residents. Testing is now being offered to three additional groups of individuals exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 including cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat or shortness of breath:

  • symptomatic people living in the Calgary Zone
  • symptomatic people who live with someone aged 65 years or older
  • essential workers whose workplaces remain accessible to the public

Read the full list of people eligible for testing here. People can access tests by completing the COVID-19 self-assessment online.

The chief medical officer of health will examine and adjust testing protocols and access to COVID-19 tests based on the changing situation in Alberta.

Stay home and in Alberta this long weekend

Albertans are being strongly encouraged to stay home, in their communities, in the province and off the highways this long weekend to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Alberta and British Columbia have released a joint statement asking families and friends to stay in their home provinces and celebrate the holidays virtually. This will reduce the risk of highway crashes – tying up emergency and medical responders who are busy with pandemic planning and care – and help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus between families and provinces.

COVID-19 health care for out-of-country visitors

To limit the potential spread of the novel coronavirus, individuals visiting Alberta from another country will receive physician and hospital services for the treatment of COVID-19 – even if they do not have health coverage or the ability to pay. This temporary measure will protect Albertans and encourage visitors to obtain treatment for COVID-19. Physicians may submit claims for this service using the new COVID-19 billing process. More information about the billing process will be provided to physicians.

Alberta Connects Contact Centre

The Alberta Connects Contact Centre continues to operate over the long weekend, and will be available to Albertans from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., April 10-13. Direct lines to specific services (such as MyAlberta Digital Identity) will be closed. Albertans should call 310-4455 for assistance.

Access to justice

The Alberta Court of Appeal has provided an update regarding electronic hearings. More information: https://albertacourts.ca/ca/publications/announcements

Mental health supports

Confidential supports are available to help with mental health concerns. The Mental Health Help Line 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 alberta.ca/COVID19.

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, 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 alberta.ca/COVID19.
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Alberta

Shaw suspends share buybacks amid economic uncertainty caused by COVID-19 impact

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CALGARY — Shaw Communications Inc. says it’s continuing to pay dividends to shareholders but has suspended its share buy-back program in order to preserve cash during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

The Calgary-based company says its Shaw internet and video networks and Freedom wireless network have performed well during the unprecedented global pandemic.

But it says the widespread economic impact of COVID-19 could make it more difficult for its customers to continue with their current level of services.

Additionally, Shaw says its management has been focused on adapting the company’s operations while protecting the health of its employees and customers.

As a result, Shaw says it’s withdrawing its financial estimates for the financial year ending Aug. 31 and suspending any additional stock buybacks.

During the fiscal second quarter ended Feb. 29, which was completed before the pandemic was officially announced, Shaw’s revenue and profit were up from a year earlier.

Shaw delivers internet and video services through Western Canada’s the largest residential cable system. It also owns Freedom Mobile, which operates in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 9, 2020.

Companies in this story: (TSX:SJR.B)

The Canadian Press

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