2 new presumptive cases of COVID-19 identified in Alberta, including woman from Calgary area
CALGARY -- One of two new presumptive cases of COVID-19 announced Sunday in Alberta is a woman from Calgary in her 30s who is now quarantined at home.
The second is a man in his 60s from the Edmonton area, who is also quarantined at home.
Those quarantines will last for two weeks and health officials are working to alert those who may have been in close contact with them.
The Calgary woman had close contact with someone who recently travelled in Europe, visiting Ukraine, Turkey and the Netherlands, said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, medical officer of health for Alberta. That person also lives in Alberta and is also being tested for the coronavirus.
The latest Edmonton case involves a man who was on the Grand Princess cruise ship and returned to Alberta on Feb. 21. There were 44 Albertans who left the Grand Princess cruise ship on Feb. 21, with officials working over the weekend to track those people down.
There are now three presumptive cases of COVID-19 in Alberta and one confirmed. The confirmation came Saturday through testing at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg and involves a 50-year-old woman who lives in the Calgary Zone.
That patient is employed with Alberta Treasury Branch and officials said two locations in Calgary — Sage Hill and Creekside — were closed Friday.
The third presumptive case involves a patient in his 40s who is now recovering in isolation at home "with support from public health officials."
Officials said that patient visited Michigan, Illinois and Ohio before returning to Alberta on Feb. 28. Doctors discovered the case following testing completed Friday.
"We now believe the source for this infection was a travel companion who had previously been a passenger on the Grand Princess cruise ship," said Hinshaw. "This travel companion is now a confirmed case in his home province of British Columbia."
Hinshaw said Alberta should expect to see more cases of coronavirus in the coming weeks.
"At this point the situation around the world is changing quickly and all returning travellers from anywhere outside of Canada need to be vigilant for illness, quickly isolate themselves if they develop symptoms of fever or cough, and call 811 for assessment and testing," said Hinshaw.
"While most people who catch this virus have a mild illness, it can be severe, or even deadly for our elderly or those with medical conditions."
Some church-going Calgarians noted to CTV News Calgary their congregations have begun taking measures to protect parishoners, offering communion hand to hand and exchanging peace through gestures and nods.
Unlike the flu, there is no vaccine developed yet for COVID-19. There were at least 59 confirmed cases in Canada as of Sunday.