Gas pumps, door handles and shelves: Dr. Hinshaw highlights some COVID-19 risks
CALGARY -- Alberta added 164 new cases of COVID-19 to its total Friday and Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, also took some time to highlight some of the riskiest ways residents could come into contact with the virus.
During Sept. 4's update, Hinshaw reminded Albertans about the potential risks posed by the highly infectious coronavirus pathogen, especially when many have their minds set on their long weekend plans.
"We are heading into the last long weekend of summer and I know many people are excited to enjoy it. However, the number of cases being reported today is a clear reminder that we cannot afford to be reckless. COVID-19 does not take holidays."
Hinshaw added that many outbreaks of the illness have come from such gatherings and safety needs to a priority for all residents who plan or attend such events.
"There are many ways to have fun while still doing it safely. For example, I know our province has many places to visit on a hopefully warm and inviting Labour Day long weekend. If you do visits such places, make sure you are aware of any restrictions, such as mandatory mask bylaws that may be in effect where you are going."
She added travellers should always have hand sanitizer, masks and alternative plans in place in case their first choice ends up being too crowded.
Because so little is known about how long the virus can survive on surfaces, Dr. Hinshaw says everyone also needs to take caution when they come into contact with high-touch areas. That warning becomes even more important when people are coming from all different areas of the province or country.
Hinshaw said some of the riskiest surfaces include gas pump handles, door handles and store shelves.
"If you stop, sanitize your hands before and after pumping gas, shopping and paying for and taking food at a drive-thru. Wear a mask in indoor spaces where you may not be able to maintain physical distance at all times."
Those same precautions are also vital during any bathroom stops as well, she added.
"Currently, close contacts are the largest source of exposure of active cases, ahead of both outbreaks and unknown exposures. It's important to be cautious, even when we're with those who we love."
Hinshaw added any weekend event, such as a barbecue, should be kept as small as possible and should only consist of the members of your own cohort.
"Please don't pass around snacks, drinks, smokes, tokes or vapes. This isn't being rude – it's being considerate of others. Now is not the time for sharing anything that has been in your mouth."
There have been no new deaths from the illness over the past 24 hours and 12,799 people have recovered.