CANMORE – Canmore Community Daycare has confirmed a COVID-19 positive case in one of its after-school care program classrooms.
The Out of School Care program offered by the daycare runs out of Elizabeth Rummel Elementary School and a joint statement from the Canmore Community Daycare Society and Canadian Rockies Public School division on Wednesday (Nov. 11). confirmed a single positive case.
According to the letter, written by CRPS superintendent Chris MacPhee and Canmore Daycare executive director Cherri Hodgins, the last day the individual was in attendance in the program was Friday (Nov. 6) and they were asymptomatic at the time.
"In response to the positive COVID-19 case, Alberta Health Services requires the closure of the Eagle Out of School Care classroom for a minimum of 72 hours," read the letter.
No further information was provided by either the daycare or CRPS. Elizabeth Rummel School remains open and both organizations committed to work together to ensure the "necessary measures continue to be in place to protect all staff and students.
"This includes the cleaning and disinfecting of all items touched by the individual, as well as removing and storing items that cannot be cleaned and disinfected (paper, books, etc.) in a sealed container for a minimum of 72 hours as per AHS protocols," read the letter.
"Our facilities staff will enact all cleaning protocols as directed by Environmental Public Health and will continue to clean and disinfect daily as per our ongoing practice."
As of Friday (Nov. 13), AHS reported seven confirmed COVID-19 positive cases in Canmore; 23 in Banff; and six in the MD of Bighorn. The Stoney Nakoda First Nation reported five cases. Improvement District No. 9, which includes Banff and Lake Louise, moved to an enhanced status on the province's relaunch status map Thursday (Nov. 12).
Chief Public Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw called on all Albertans to step up their actions to reduce the spread of the virus.
"We have to keep this effort up together with limiting close contacts, maintaining physical distancing, masking and staying home when sick," Hinshaw said.
There were 860 new cases reported on Thursday, with a total of 8,300 active cases in the province. Hinshaw said there are 225 people in hospital and 21 in intensive care units.
She said over the past two weeks, there has been a seven per cent growth in hospitalizations in rural zones – and the threshold for AHS is five per cent. She also said the intensive care capacity for youth in the province has hit 73 per cent, which is "deeply concerning."
"The rising hospitalizations and ICU admissions are threatening our ability to deliver health services," Hinshaw said. "We must reduce the growth of COVD-19 and we must do it soon."
Premier Jason Kenney announced additional health measures due to the increasing number of cases across the province. Those measures apply to Calgary and Edmonton, and their surrounding areas, as well as any community with an enhanced status.
Mayor John Borrowman posted on social media that those changes do not include Canmore, but encouraged residents to increase their efforts to keep transmission rates low.
“As you may have heard, the province of Alberta has announced new targeted and temporary measures in select geographic areas to reduce the spread of COVID-19," Borrowman said. "These measures do not apply to Canmore at this time, although this can change quickly.
"We need to continue to do our part to flatten the curve to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and those most vulnerable."
Due to Banff's enhanced status, as of Friday (Nov. 13) bars, lounges and pubs will have to end liquor service at 10 p.m. and close at 11 p.m. for the next two weeks.
AHS has a;sp directed Albertans living in areas with enhanced status to not visit other communities at this time.