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247 new cases of COVID-19 in Alberta Sunday; 2 cases confirmed at Calgary homeless centre

FILE: A healthcare worker prepares to issue a COVID-19 test at a drive-thru COVID-19 evaluation clinic.
FILE: A healthcare worker prepares to issue a COVID-19 test at a drive-thru COVID-19 evaluation clinic. Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

On Sunday, the province confirmed 247 new cases of COVID-19 in Alberta, bringing the total to 4,480.

Of the new cases, 234 are laboratory confirmed and 13 are currently probable cases, the province said.

Drop-In Centre cases

While there were no additional deaths reported, Alberta’s Minister of Community and Social Services said that two people who stayed at Calgary’s Drop-In Centre have tested positive for COVID-19.

“Appropriate precautions are being taken and [Alberta Health Services] is engaged in managing the next steps,” Rajan Sawhney said.
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Sandra Clarkson, executive director of the centre, said the two individuals staying in the main shelter tested positive on Sunday and are currently in hospital.

“Our priority is the protection of all staff and clients in our shelter sites, and we are taking this situation very seriously. Public health protocols are in place and being followed,” she said.

Clarkson​ said the centre is activating its emergency response.

“Effective immediately, we have mandated that everyone in our buildings wear a mask at all times. Further, all clients and staff will be tested for COVID-19 beginning this evening,” she said.

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“Any individuals who have tested positive or are suspected to have COVID-19 will not have access to our emergency shelter sites and will be sheltered in alternate designated spaces.”

COVID-19 case breakdown

Alberta Health said 83 people are currently in hospital, with 20 of them in intensive care.

There are now 1,549 people in the province who have recovered from COVID-19.

Here are the latest case breakdowns by zone:

  • 3,104 cases in the Calgary zone
  • 598 cases in the South zone
  • 479 cases in the Edmonton zone
  • 182 cases in the North zone
  • 83 cases in the Central zone
  • 34 cases in yet-to-be-confirmed zones

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The province said that as of Sunday, it’s believed 460 cases have been acquired from community transmission.

There are now 435 cases at continuing care facilities, up by 20 since Saturday. So far, 48 people have died from COVID-19 in continuing care.

Support for vulnerable Albertans

On Sunday, the government of Alberta outlined supports it will provide to vulnerable people during the pandemic.

“Vulnerable Albertans, whether persons with disabilities, people struggling with homelessness, those dealing with unemployment or those impacted by isolation and social distancing, need our help,” Sawhney said during a press conference.

READ MORE: Children’s services minister says Alberta working to use more hotels as COVID-19 isolation centres

The government outlined its response so far in a news release:

  • working with disability service partners to provide protective gear and creating an online COVID-19 guide for those with disabilities
  • still providing AISH and Income Support. The provincial government will be exempting a portion of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit as income for those recipients
  • giving funding to homeless shelters and community organizations around the province for 14 new shelter facilities that meet physical distancing requirements
  • will begin testing asymptomatic individuals at homeless shelters on April 27
  • providing 27 grants to women’s shelters to support their COVID-19 response
  • reviewing over 850 applications for $30 million in COVID-19 funding for charities
  • providing $5 million in funding for food banks
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– With files from Global News’ Kaylen Small