Health Updates

For additional up-to-date information and information on supports for Albertans. check out our COVID-19 Information page.

March 25, 2020

Penalties and Fines

Premier Jason Kenney announced compliance measures under the Public Health Act. Effective immediately, Alberta has implemented legislation to require Albertans to comply with all public health measures. Penalties and fines of $1,000 per violation can be enforced by peace officers and police. It is expected that this power will be extended to municipal officers as well.

This is extreme. It highlights the need for all Métis Albertans to act responsibly and ensure that we are following all public health measures.

Mandatory Public Health Measures

International travelers returning to Canada MUST self-isolate upon return to Canada. Mandatory Self-isolation also includes if you are a close contact of a person with confirmed COVID-19 (provides care, lives with, or has close physical contact)      

Events:

  • No gatherings with more than 50 people allowed;
  • Cancellation of events that:
    • Have less than 50 people if it is made up of vulnerable people (seniors) or essential staff (health care providers, front line staff)
    • Has activities that promote transmission (like singing , cheering, close contact or sharing food)
    • Is in a space that does not allow for 6 ft between attendees.

Recreation and entertainment facilities are closed.

Restaurants, cafes and bars:

  • Buffets are prohibited, bars and nightclubs are closed, and sit-down restaurants are limited to 50% capacity or 50 people whichever is less.

Masks

We have been getting several requests from citizens asking for masks and we understand why, things feel scary right now. Health experts ask that you stay at home. If you are home, you do not need a mask. Please stay home.

  • You should not be going out of the house if you are sick – even for groceries. So, you don’t need a mask. Phone a friend to get what you need.
  • If you need groceries and you are not sick, you do not need to wear a mask to go shopping.
  • If you do need to go out to get groceries: practice physical distancing, use hand sanitizer where possible, and do not touch your face. Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water when you get home.

Public Health Experts only recommend masks for those who are sick or immunocompromised who must leave their home and go to hospital for care. Wearing a mask when you are not ill may give a false sense of security. There is a potential risk of infection with improper mask use and disposal.

Stay home and stay safe!

March 24, 2020

Reiterating Risk for Seniors

Individuals over 60 years of age and those with pre-existing health conditions are most at risk of severe symptoms from COVID-19. Please follow the public health guidelines reiterated below.

To prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19, among seniors and vulnerable groups:

  • Visitors to any continuing care, long-term care and seniors’ lodges in Alberta are limited to a single individual designated by the resident or guardian.
  • Each essential visitor must be verified and undergo a health screening prior to entering the facility. This may include a temperature check or a questionnaire.
  • Facilities must have security staff or a greeter to conduct this screening and verify the visitor is designated.
  • Exceptions to these essential visitor rules will be made for family members to visit a person who is dying, so long as only one visitor enters the facility at a time

It is important to remember that Elders and Seniors are vital to our Métis Community. Elders who are not residing in a care facility or lodge are also at risk. 

If you are providing supplies to Elders in our community:

Remember to practice physical distancing when delivering supplies.

  • This means arrange for porch or front step drop off for any essential supplies.
  • If you must go into the home, ask the Elder to give you 6ft (2 meters) of space in order to protect them while you drop off supplies.
  • DO NOT VISIT OR DROP OF SUPPLIES IF YOU ARE SICK. Even if it is only mild symptoms. Find an alternate volunteer.
  • Do not visit in person where possible.
  • Public health recommends staying home and limiting contact with those who do not live with you.
  • Find creative ways to stay connected: pick up the phone or take some time (but be physically separated by 6ft) to set an Elder up with Facetime on their phone if they have one.
  • Bring the supplies to the Elder rather than transporting Elders to the supplies.
  • Public health is recommending that those who are high risk stay home where possible.

The MNA recognizes that this is hard for many of our Elders who are certainly the heart of our community and gatherings. Where possible, remind yourself and Elders that these precautions are put in place to ensure they are protected. It is because we hold them so dear that we must take these aggressive measures.

March 20, 2020

Continuation of Education

Read this media release from the Government of Alberta about Continuing Student Learning

March 17, 2020

Alberta Declares a State of Emergency

As of today (Tuesday, March 17) the Province of Alberta has declared a state of emergency under the Public Health Act. This sounds scary, but it allows the government to restrict public gatherings, close facilities and businesses in order to keep us all safe.

Effective Immediately:

  • All events over 50 people, including weddings, funerals, and religious services are to be cancelled.
    • All recreation centers, casinos, bingo halls, bars, theatres or other public facilities are closed. This does NOT include grocery stores.
    • Sit down restaurants can remain open at 50% capacity.

It is important to remember that we must take prevention seriously.

  • Stay home and self-isolate if you are sick. Do not go to ER to be tested.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
    • Limit your visits to people who are most at risk: Elders, those with chronic disease or who have another illness such as Cancer.
    • If you have symptoms, complete the self assessment tool online first, then call 811 for further instructions.

Read more about today’s COVID-19 update here: https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx#p22780s5

March 14, 2020

COVID-19: Alberta Health Services Launches Self-Assessment Tool

The current risk level in Alberta remains low.
To alleviate high call volumes to 811, Alberta Health Services (AHS) has launched an online self assessment tool. 
If you recently returned from travel outside Canada or have symptoms – cough, fever, fatigue or difficulty breathing:

  1. Stay home, do not go to an ER or clinic.
  2. Take the COVID-19 self-assessment test.
  3. If the self-assessment test determines you need to be tested for COVID-19, call Health Link 811 for testing and instructions.

For the latest and most up-to-date information for Albertans visit:  www.alberta.ca/covid19

March 13, 2020

Community Engagements during COVID-19

As you are aware, an outbreak of a new strain of pneumonia was identified in Wuhan, China on December 31, 2019, called the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). There are currently 23 confirmed cases in Alberta: all cases are directly related to travel abroad or contact with those who have travelled and are currently quarantined at home.

The current risk level in Alberta remains low. Risk is determined by assessing how likely Albertans are to be exposed to the virus in the province. While the worldwide risk is rising, the risk of contracting COVID-19 in Alberta is still low. The risk level will be adjusted if this changes in the coming weeks.

Alberta Health in a press release March 12, 2020 at 3:30pm stated:

“There is a window of opportunity for Alberta to slow the spread of the virus, and thereby protect the health of Albertans. Other countries who have faced this crisis have proven that immediate public measures are necessary to prevent the spread of the virus and protect public health.

The steps we take now and in the days ahead will help determine the severity of this outbreak for Alberta.

These are extraordinary circumstances, and our public health response must rise to the challenge we face. That is why, effective immediately, we are asking all large gatherings or international events in the province to be cancelled and advising Albertans against travel outside of the country.

By “mass gathering”, we mean any mass gatherings of more than 250 people. This includes large sporting events, conferences and community events.”


Related to smaller gatherings, the Public Health Agency of Canada has released a community risk assessment for community gatherings and based on this risk assessment and the advice of Public Health Officials in Alberta, the MNA is taking precautionary measures and canceling or modifying up coming smaller community engagements and gatherings.

We recognize that Métis Albertans may be disappointed to hear of these cancellations. This is a serious decision and it is not made lightly. It is based on ongoing review of recommendations from public health experts.

At this moment in time, we do not know how long these restrictions and modifications will be in place.  Updates will be provided as the situation evolves.

It is important to remember if you have symptoms, stay at home and take the COVID-19 self-assessment test or call Health Link 811.

For the latest and most up-to-date information for Albertans visit:  www.alberta.ca/covid19

March 9, 2020

COVID-19

About coronavirus

  • Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. They can cause illnesses ranging from a mild cold to a severe pneumonia.
  • Novel coronaviruses are new strains of the virus that have not been previously identified in humans. COVID-19 is a novel virus that has not been previously identified.
  • The disease caused by this strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) does not appear to be as severe as other coronaviruses, such as SARS. Many patients have reported only mild symptoms.
  • There is person-to-person spread.

What are the symptoms?

  • Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to a cold or flu.
  • Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19.
  • Symptoms have included:
    • fever
    • cough
    • difficulty breathing
    • pneumonia in both lungs

It is important to call Alberta Health Link at 811 ; or your family doctor if you have been exposed to COVID-19 and are symptomatic.

How does COVID-19 spread?

  • Human coronaviruses cause infections of the nose, throat and lungs.
  • They are most commonly spread from an infected person through:
    • respiratory droplets that are spread when you cough or sneeze
    • close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
    • touching something with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands

Should I wear a mask?

  • Use of a mask is not necessary if you are a healthy individual.

You can stay healthy and prevent the spread of infections by:

  • washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • avoiding close contact with people who are sick
  • coughing or sneezing into your sleeve and not your hands
  • staying home if you are sick to avoid spreading illness to others

Where can I find the most up-to-date information about COVID-19?

For the latest and most up-to-date information for Albertans visit:  www.alberta.ca/covid19

Other credible resources for information include:

Public Health Agency of Canada’s web page on COVID-19 at:
https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html.

Alberta Health Services:
https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/topics/Page16944.aspx

Alberta Health Services Novel Coronavirus FAQs for the Public:
https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/assets/info/ppih/if-ppih-ncov-2019-public-faq.pdf

Alberta Health Coronavirus information sheet:
https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx

Public Health Agency of Canada Coronovirus Outbreak Information:
https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html?utm_campaign=not-applicable&utm_medium=vanity-url&utm_source=canada-ca_coronavirus

Alberta Health Respiratory Viruses in the Workplace:
https://ohs-pubstore.labour.alberta.ca/bh022

Remember – The best way to prevent respiratory and other illnesses is to:

  • Avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth;
  • Consistently use good hand hygiene measures, which include frequent hand-washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available;
  • Maintain good respiratory etiquette, such as covering your mouth and nose with your arm or sleeve when coughing and sneezing, disposing of any used tissues as soon as possible, and following with hand-washing or use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers where soap and water are not available;
  • Regularly clean and disinfect surfaces that people touch frequently such as toilets, bedside tables, doorknobs, phones and television remotes with regular household cleaners or diluted bleach (1 part bleach to 9 parts water).

Download or print these useful posters for your home or workplace.

  • Help Prevent the Spread: PDF | JPEG
  • How to Properly Wash Your Hands: PDF | JPEG