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Alberta

New COVID-19 modelling concludes the most likely scenario is much lower than former numbers

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From the Province of Alberta

COVID-19 modelling data update

Revised data show protective measures and the efforts of Albertans are making a critical difference in our fight against COVID-19.

The Government of Alberta has introduced a new “low” modelling scenario estimating 298 Albertans will require hospitalization and 95 will require critical care when the virus reaches its peak. If current trends continue, this scenario will become the most likely scenario for Alberta.

Updated modelling scenarios continue to estimate that Alberta’s outbreak will reach its peak in late May. However, the number of Albertans hospitalized at the peak of the virus is predicted to be lower than originally estimated. This reflects Alberta’s experience over the past few weeks and the proportion of cases actually entering hospital and intensive care units.

“The data show us that our efforts to lower the peak of the virus are working, but we must remain vigilant. We continue to refine our modelling in order to ensure our health-care system is prepared. While we are still a ways off from returning to our normal way of life, our government is working around the clock on a phased approach to relaunch our economy safely. It is essential Albertans continue to exercise common sense and follow public health guidance so we can get the economy moving again as quickly as possible.”

Jason Kenney, Premier

As a result of aggressive public health measures put in place, the probable scenario now estimates 596 people in Alberta will require hospitalization, with 190 requiring critical care on the days when the virus reaches its peak. With Alberta’s younger-than-average population and our aggressive testing measures, which are able to catch cases with less severe symptoms, Alberta Health’s new “low” scenario is fortunately becoming our most realistic.

Alberta Health has scaled up the capacity of the province’s health-care system in order to ensure it is prepared to support patients at the peak of the pandemic in any scenario.

Existing public health measures remain in place to stop the spread of COVID-19.

 Quick facts

  • The model uses several key assumptions, including:
    • not all cases are detected
    • transmission is more common within an age group, rather than between age groups
    • there is no asymptomatic transmission
    • people are infectious for five to 10 days
    • all ICU patients require ventilation
    • overall, nine per cent of cases are hospitalized and two per cent require ICU, but this varies significantly by age. The low scenario assumes 4.5 per cent of cases are hospitalized and one per cent require ICU, which aligns with actual results.
  • The most important measure 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.
  • Any individual exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, including cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat or shortness of breath, is 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. After completing the form, there is no need to call 811.

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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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Alberta

Get away from the city – Rock Lake Lodge seeks maintenance and caretaker

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Wilderness Lodge Maintenance & Caretaker Needed

Click here to apply now.

Looking to get away from the city and experience the wilderness?

Rock Lake Lodge may have the perfect opportunity for you. WHO ARE WE? We are a lodge located in Rock Lake Provincial Park in Alberta, Canada.

Just a short distance away from a 90-foot deep lake with four species of fish, and the lodge is surrounded by wildlife and abounding nature.

Check out www.rocklakelodge.ca to have a look at the stunning surroundings, our lodge and cabins.

It’s not all work and no play up at Rock Lake Lodge! Some of the activities provided on site will be hiking, fishing, canoeing. and wildlife watching. This is a seasonal live-in position from June 2021 -Sept 2021.

We are seeking someone with the following:
-general handyman experience (able to use basic tools and general maintenance of the lodge)
-generator experience
-plumbing & electrical (basic)
-construction experience

Above all, we want someone who loves fishing!

Do you have experience with diesel generators? Log buildings? Chainsaws or log splitters? Let us know in your application. Even if your job history doesn’t reflect the above- your personal experiences may be exactly what we’re looking for!

Wage to be negotiated. This is a fulltime-temporary contract position.

Experience:

  • maintenance: 1 year (preferred)
  • diesel generator: 1 year (preferred)
  • rural water systems: 1 year (preferred)
  • chainsaw: 1 year (preferred)
  • plumbing: 1 year (preferred)
  • electrical: 1 year (preferred)
  • Driver’s License (MANDATORY)

Contract length: 3 months

Start date: Immediately

Click here to apply.

Read more on Todayville.

 

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Alberta

Alberta opens COVID-19 lottery; 48,000 more first doses needed to lift health rules

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EDMONTON — Premier Jason Kenney says 48,000 more Albertans must step up for a first dose of COVID vaccine to fully lift health restrictions, and hopes his new lottery plan will be that incentive.

“The more people we can get vaccinated more quickly, the safer we all are,” Kenney said Monday while announcing details of three $1-million lotteries, which will roll out this summer.

Kenney said he asked Health Minister Tyler Shandro a month ago to devise an incentive plan, knowing that demand for first doses would drop off.

“We knew a point would come when we would run out of low-hanging fruit in terms of people who were eager to get the jab, and we reached that point about a week, two weeks ago,” said Kenney.

 “I asked (Shandro’s) team to start getting creative about shaking the trees for that last 10 or 15 per cent (of the eligible population).

 “Now is the time, exactly the right time, for us to start being creative, offering these incentives.”

Almost 69 per cent of those eligible have received at least one dose of COVID vaccine.

Once 70 per cent is reached, and the vaccines have two weeks to take full effect, the province plans to lift all but a handful of health restrictions, essentially returning the economy and community to its pre-COVID state.

The first $1-million lottery draw will be held on the day the restrictions lift, likely at the end of June or early July.

Every Albertan 18 years and older who has received at least one vaccine dose will be eligible, but must sign up online ahead of time. 

Registrations began Monday.

The winner must also show proof they got the shot before the registration cutoff date, in order to avoid someone signing up and winning the lottery, then running out to get vaccinated only after their name is drawn.

The next two lottery draws will be at the end of August and the end of September — also $1 million each — and will be open for those over 18 who have had two doses. 

There will also be other non-cash incentive prizes between now and the end of September, with details yet to be finalized.

Members of the Alberta legislature and their families are not eligible to win.

Opposition NDP health critic David Shepherd said he supports any effort to get more people vaccinated, including a lottery.

“But let’s remember that this government is still failing to do the simple things to motivate Albertans,” said Shepherd.

“An announcement that all members of the UCP government caucus have been vaccinated wouldn’t cost taxpayers a dime.

 “An earlier and more aggressive campaign of temporary clinics would probably have helped as well.”

Manitoba has already announced a vaccine lottery, holding two lottery draws this summer with $100,000 prizes and $25,000 youth scholarships.

Alberta has 3,089 active cases of COVID-19. There are 270 people in hospital with the illness and, of those, 73 patients are in intensive care.

Health officials reported 115 new cases and no new deaths Monday.

The province is now in the second stage of its reopening plan, the most ambitious reopening program in Canada.

Museums, libraries, movie theatres, casinos and other entertainment venues reopened last week to limited capacity after being shuttered for months.

Restaurants can now have diners indoors as well as on the patio.

Kenney has said he would like to see Alberta fully reopened by early July so people can take part in signature festivals such as the Calgary Stampede.

Also Monday, Stampede officials announced the event, expected to run from July 9-18, would keep its attendance at half capacity. They said attendees could be required to show proof of vaccination or undergo rapid testing to enter some venues. 

Staff and volunteers will also be required to wear masks and have rapid COVID-19 testing.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 14, 2021.

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

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