Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, who has become the calming face of the provincial response during the COVID-19 pandemic, is clear of the virus.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw has tested negative for COVID-19, one day after she went into self isolation after developing a sore throat.
Hinshaw has been the face of the response to coronavirus in the province, giving daily updates and advice to Albertans. On Monday, she gave the update through video conference as she isolated herself due to cold symptoms.
During that update, she said that Alberta now had 74 cases of COVID-19, up by 18 from the day before.
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Hinshaw said Monday that she was following her own advice by self-isolating at the first sign of any cold symptom.
“I felt well yesterday but woke up with a sore throat, and although my symptoms are mild, it is important to note that no one is exempt from staying home, even when they have mild symptoms,” she said during the video conference update.
Hinshaw said she was tested after senior provincial leaders asked her to, so she could come back to work in person without waiting for a 14-day quarantine.
She stressed on Monday that it is important that any Albertan stays home if they feel sick.
Albertans who believe they need testing for COVID-19 can do so by calling Health Link 811. However, before calling, Albertans should take the coronavirus online assessment test to determine if they need to speak to a nurse.
The new coronavirus was first identified in Hubei province, China, in December 2019 and spread rapidly. While the outbreak has begun to level off in China, it seems the virus has found a foothold in a number of countries around the world, and it continues to spread.
Confused about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials say the risk is low for Canadians but warn this could change quickly. They caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. And if you get sick, stay at home.
Visit full COVID-19 coverage on Global News.
— With files from Global News