Nine deaths, 70 new cases of coronavirus confirmed in Alberta

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, The Chief Medical Officer of Health, delivered this news in her daily press conference on COVID-19. Hinshaw says, " As the number of deaths in our province increases, so does the number of grieving families and loved ones".

Dr. Hinshaw also reported a new outbreak in Calgary, this time at a Purolator distribution centre where 30 employees tested positive for the coronavirus.

As of Monday, there are 621 confirmed cases in continuing care facilities.

This brings the province's known total to 5,836.

Those experiencing new symptoms such as nausea, a loss of taste or smell, pinkeye, and more are now able to be tested.

Shandro also announced changes that are being made to nursing home regulations that will allow nurse practitioners to act as primary care providers in nursing homes. "This includes things such as use of masks when physical distancing is not always possible, promotion of early identification of ill people through health screening and follow-ups to prevent cases from occurring", said Hinshaw.

The total number of deaths caused by the COVID-19 virus in Alberta has officially crossed the 100 mark.

She said the regulation changes allow nurse practitioners to do what they are trained to do.

Shandro said they will continue to monitor the situation and, if necessary, take steps back.

The modified rules - created to strengthen care for nursing home residents during the COVID-19 pandemic - are scheduled to remain in place until August 14, unless the province's emergency public health order is lifted before then.

"Nurse practitioners' advanced skills and knowledge are needed now more than ever". The decision to reopen, however, remains with the operator.

She estimates only a handful of nurse practitioners now work in long-term care in a limited capacity.

"Many Albertans have had to delay important non-urgent scheduled procedures in order for us to ensure our health-care system was prepared for an influx of patients with COVID-19", said Minister of Health Tyler Shandro.

"If you have an NP employed in that nursing home and they're there nearly full time then they're going to be able to provide some major continuity of care to all the residents there", she said.

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