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Alberta announces 13 new COVID-19 cases, 1 more death Saturday

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Alberta Health announced 13 new lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in the province on Saturday, bringing the total number of active cases to 604 and the total number of confirmed cases to 6,992.

The province reported one additional death.

Cases

The province said 53 people are in hospital, with five of them in intensive care.

READ MORE: Alberta partners with fast-food restaurants to distribute 4 non-medical masks to every resident

As of Saturday, 661 cases stemmed from an unknown exposure.

In total, 6,245 Albertans have recovered from COVID-19, Alberta Health said.

Case breakdown:

  • Calgary zone: 461 active cases and 4,295 recovered
  • South zone: 44 active cases and 1,182 recovered
  • Edmonton zone: 67 active cases and 464 recovered
  • North zone: 27 active cases and 200 recovered
  • Central zone: two active cases and 95 recovered
  • yet-to-be-confirmed zones: three active cases and nine recovered
Hand sanitizer and a face mask.
Hand sanitizer and a face mask. Kaylen Small/Global News

Deaths

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Alberta Health said one new death was reported Saturday while one previous death was determined not to be related to COVID-19, meaning the death toll stands at 143.

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The latest death was ​​a man in his 70s at Intercare Brentwood Care Centre in Calgary, Alberta Health said.

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Death breakdown:

  • 104 in Calgary zone
  • 16 in North zone
  • 13 in Edmonton zone
  • nine in South zone
  • one in Central zone

Alberta Health said there are 62 active cases and 657 recovered cases at continuing care facilities, adding that 109 residents have died.

Mental health funding update

On Saturday, the province provided an update on $21.6 million in funding that will expand online and virtual resources for mental health and addiction challenges because of the pandemic. Last month, the government said it was $21.4 million, which was a typo, according to Kassandra Kitz, the press secretary for Mental Health and Addictions.

The government said this money is the first portion of the $53-million COVID-19 mental health action plan announced in April.

READ MORE: Kenney pledges $53M in mental health funding as Alberta sees no new COVID-19 deaths

$21.6M funding breakdown:

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  • expand Kids Help Phone and crisis text line – $1.8 million (previously announced)
  • expand Addiction Helpline and the Mental Health Helpline – $9.6 million (previously announced)
  • expand 211 – $3 million (previously announced)
  • Big White Wall – $1 million
  • InnoWell – $2 million
  • community-based supports – $3 million
  • about $1.2 million in capital costs

Associate Minister of Health and Addictions Jason Luan said that many Albertans are in need of mental health and addiction recovery supports during the pandemic — and when it’s over.

“This funding is giving more people free access to supports 24/7, and it’s enabling our government to work with our sector partners to develop other innovative supports,” he said in a statement.

“We are in this together and we will support Albertans every step of the way.”

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Calgary mental health services want you to reach out, be self-compassionate

Since the end of March, the Addiction Helpline (1-866-332-2322) has responded to more than 1,000 calls and the Mental Health Helpline (1-877-303-2642) has responded to more than 3,400 calls, according to the Alberta government.

The Kids Help Phone (1-800-668-6868) experienced about a 50 per cent increase in demand for its texting service (text CONNECT to 686868) since the start of the pandemic, the province said.

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In April, Alberta 211 responded to more than 2,700 calls — more than 400 of which were about mental health and substance use, the government said.

Testing

Alberta Health said testing is now available to all Albertans, whether they have COVID-19 symptoms or not.