Stop the Spread
To help protect you and your family against COVID-19, you should:
- STAY AT HOME and away from others if you have any symptoms of COVID-19. Do not go to a doctors office or the hospital. Take the online assessment tool through Alberta Health and follow the recommendations.
- Stay home as much as possible. Only leave your house if it's necessary. If you are going grocery shopping or to get other essential services/supplies, only send ONE adult - do not bring your entire household to a store or service agency.
- If you are healthy and need to leave your home, practice "social distancing". Keeping at least 2 metres distance between yourself and other people. Do not shake hands, hug, or come into ANY physical contact with people.
- Avoid any an all gatherings of people that are not in your household.
- Be extremely vigilant and use good hand hygiene practices, such as frequent hand washing.
- Avoid touching your face, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.
- Follow good respiratory hygiene; cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze (dispose of the used tissue immediately).
- Have a household plan in case you, or someone in your household, is required to self-isolate. Be prepared and have a plan for how you will have groceries delivered, which rooms to use for those who may be sick, etc.
If you have symptoms - even very mild ones - of cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose or sore throat you are eligible for COVID-19 testing. This Self Assessment Tool will determine whether you need to call Health Link 811 to get tested. Call volumes to Health Link 811 are currently high, so be patient if you are required to call. If you are not seriously ill, do not go to a physician's office, a health care facility or a lab.
Results from the three-day Assessment Centre held April 27 through 29 indicate that symptoms do not have to be severe for someone to be COVID-19 positive. Many individuals who did not think they had symptoms (and had dismissed them as allergies, or dehydration, or lack of sleep) came back with positive test results. Please pay close attention to ANY possible symptoms and isolate until you receive test results.
If you have any COVID-19 symptoms and are having a medical emergency, please call 911 and inform them of your symptoms. You will still receive the same emergency care from your paramedics. By telling 911 when you call, it ensures that you will get the care you need without putting others at risk. Call 911 if you are seriously ill and need immediate medical attention and inform them that you may have COVID-19.
If you think you have a serious or life-threatening injury or illness, go straight to an emergency department or call 911 immediately. Hospitals and emergency departments remain a safe place to go and to receive care. AHS does not want anyone to stay away from an emergency department if they need help. The Brooks emergency department is available to see patients in our community.
Testing can be easily booked online by visiting the Alberta Health Services COVID-19 page or you can call 811 to book an appointment. Testing is performed in Brooks through an assessment centre at Community Health at the hospital. Testing has been occurring since mid-March and the Assessment Centre is open daily.
Uptake of the expanded testing is important and the City hopes that many individuals are able to participate. For those that do choose to get tested, we would love to hear about your experience – how easy booking was, how quickly the test was performed, how quickly results were returned, etc. All information is completely voluntarily and will be kept confidential; City Council is interested in the information so they will better understand if they need to lobby for changes. If you choose to share your experience with us, send us an email. Because asymptomatic testing is now available to the entire community on a regular basis, additional short term Asymptomatic Testing Centres will not be occurring.
Any Albertan with symptoms of COVID-19 can be tested. Symptoms include: cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat or painful swallowing, headache, chills, muscle or joint aches, feeling unwell in general, new fatigue or severe exhaustion, gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or unexplained loss of appetite), loss of sense of smell or taste, or pink eye. If you have any of these symptoms, even mild ones, please stay home, self-isolate and contact 811 or take the Self Assessment Tool available through Alberta Health Services to arrange a time for testing.
Testing is free of charge and plays an important role in further containing the spread of COVID-19. It will provide us with a clearer picture of how well our public health measures are working to contain COVID-19 and help guide further progress in Alberta's re-launch.
Do not go to the hospital or Community Health for testing unless you have been given an appointment time. Turnaround time has been quick so far and most people are tested within 24 hours.
After Being Tested
Here are a few things to keep in mind, if you choose to be tested:
- While you're waiting for your result you do not need to self-isolate, as long as you remain asymptomatic.
- If your test result is negative, you may still develop COVID-19 if you have been exposed to the virus in the last 14 days. It's important to continue monitoring for symptoms.
- If your COVID-19 test result is positive, you would need to self-isolate for at least 10 days, even if you do not have symptoms. Anyone who has been in close contact with you would also have to self-isolate.
Isolation means avoiding situations where you could infect other people. This means all situations where you may come in contact with others, such as social gatherings, work, school, child care, athletic events, university, faith-based gatherings, healthcare facilities, grocery stores, restaurants, shopping malls, and all public gatherings.
There are a number of reasons why a person would be required to isolate:
|Reason to Isolate||Length of Time|
|You have returned from Canada from outside the country.||Isolate for 14 days if you returned from travel outside of Canada after March 12 and monitor for symptoms.|
|You have been tested, but do not have your results yet.||Until you receive you test results. If negative, isolation is not required unless you have symptoms (see below). If positive, isolate as per below.|
|You have been identified by Alberta Health Services as a close contact to someone that has tested positive.||Isolate for 14 days and monitor for symptoms if you are a close contact of a person who tested positive for COVID-19.|
|You have tested positive for COVID-19.||Isolate for a minimum of 10 days from the start of symptoms, or until symptoms resolve, whichever takes longer.|
|Someone in your household has tested positive for COVID-19 (and therefore you are a close contact to someone that has tested positive).||Isolate for 14 days and monitor for symptoms if you are a close contact of a person who tested positive for COVID-19.|
|You have ANY symptoms of COVID-19 that are not related to a pre-existing condition.||Isolate for a minimum of 10 days from the start of symptoms, or until symptoms resolve, whichever takes longer. Symptoms such as a cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose, or sore throat that is not related to a preexisting illness or health condition.|
If you have been ordered to isolate, it is incredibly important that you do so and follow all the isolation requirements. This means staying in one location, as in one address. Moving around, going for walk, or going for a drive is not allowed - it is illegal. You cannot leave your house to get groceries, your mail, supplies or prescriptions.
- Stay home – do not leave your home or attend work, school, social events or any other public gatherings.
- Avoid close contact with people in your household, especially seniors and people with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.
- You are prohibited from taking public transportation like buses, taxis or ride-sharing.
- Do not go outside for a walk through your neighbourhood or park. This includes children in mandatory isolation.
- You can get fresh air in your backyard, if you have one, but you must remain on private property not accessible by others.
- If you live in an apartment building or high-rise, you must stay inside and cannot use the elevators or stairwells to go outside. If your balcony is private and at least 2 metres away from your closest neighbour, you may go outside on the balcony.
For more information about isolation, visit the Alberta Health Website.
It's a good idea to have an action plan in place for your household in case you are required to isolate. Plan ahead and arrange for things like groceries, prescriptions and other essential supplies to be delivered.
- Talk with the people who need to be included in your plan.
- Discuss with household members, other relatives, and friends and what the needs of each person will be.
- Make sure you have proper names and contact information for people that would be included as "close contacts" if you were to test positive.
- Plan ways to care for those at greater risk of serious complications, such as ensuring you have sufficient medication, and determining what supplies are needed and if they can be delivered.
- Talk with your neighbours about emergency planning.
- Create a list of local organizations you can contact if you need access to information, health-care services, support or resources.
- Create an emergency contact list.
- Choose a room in your home you can use to separate sick household members from healthy ones.
- Choose a separate bathroom for sick individuals to use, if possible.
- Plan to clean these rooms as needed when someone is sick.
- Have 72 hours' worth of food and supplies at home. We do not recommend stockpiling goods.
Why where a mask
This information is from the Alberta.ca website and more information can be found by visiting: