2 Calgary banks closed in connection with presumptive case of COVID-19
Published Friday, March 6, 2020 4:20PM MST Last Updated Friday, March 6, 2020 10:05PM MST
CALGARY -- Alberta health officials, while providing an update on the first presumptive case of the novel coronavirus, say a second suspected case of the illness has been found in the province.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province's chief medical officer of health, said appropriate action is being taken after the presumptive case of COVID-19 was detected in a 50-year-old woman in the Calgary zone.
Furthermore Hinshaw said a second presumptive case of the illness has been found in Alberta after a man in the Edmonton Zone, who had recently returned from the U.S., began to exhibit symptoms of the illness.
The patient, who is in his 40s, is recovering in isolation at home "with support from public health officials."
Officials said the second patient visited Michigan, Illinois and Ohio before returning to Alberta on Feb. 28. Doctors discovered the case following testing completed Friday.
"While I know some Albertans may be concerned by a second case, this is not unexpected. The risk to Albertans is still considered low. We have already isolated this individual and are taking swift action to implement immediate precautions to prevent the infection from spreading," Hinshaw said.
In the meantime, officials have taken steps to protect the health of Albertans in connection with the first presumptive case, confirmed to be in a Calgary woman.
That patient is employed with Alberta Treasury Branch and officials said two locations in Calgary — Sage Hill and Creekside — are closed Friday.
ATB Financial said they are working with Alberta Health Services closely in regards to the case.
"We are doing everything we can to protect the health and safety of our team members and customers. Nothing is more important to ATB. To that end, we have been working closely with Alberta Health Services to ensure we are as proactive and protective as possible, including closing two of our Calgary locations. I want to thank AHS for their leadership on this front, and I want to thank our team members for their commitment to supporting each other and our customers," said Curtis Stange, president and CEO of ATB Financial in an emailed statement.
Hinshaw says the risk of COVID-19 in Alberta remains low, but told CTV News Thursday the risk of cases coming into the province is high.
"I think it's important to differentiate between the risk of being exposed to the virus in Alberta, which is currently low, to the risk of the virus coming into Alberta and the risk that we should have somebody come into Alberta with the virus is getting higher and higher."
That said, Hinshaw added the risk of Albertans getting sick from COVID-19 is expected to increase in the coming weeks.
"Alberta will now be expanding testing protocols across the province effective immediately. We are advising all travelers returning from any destination outside of Canada to monitor for symptoms," she says. "If they experience influenza-related symptoms such as a fever or cough within 14 days of the return, they are asked to self-isolate immediately and call HealthLink at 811 or arrange for follow-up testing."
Officials say they will also begin testing influenza samples starting Saturday in order to confirm there are no other cases in Alberta and track community transmission should it occur.