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Don't panic, wash your hands: health care officials in dealing with COVID-19

Washing your hands with soap and water. (CREDIT: JKerner, Pixabay)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – As more cases of the coronavirus pop-up in Alberta, health officials say you need to be vigilant to prevent the illness from spreading.

On Wednesday, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw said five more cases of COVID-19 were reported in Alberta including three in the Calgary-zone.

Hinshaw said all the new cases had recently returned from visiting countries that include Iran, Egypt, Spain, Mexico and the United States.

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While the risk for Alberta remains low, Hinshaw says that could change depending on the spread of the virus and whether people are taking preventative measures.

“Staying home when sick, washing your hands, covering your cough and making sure you don’t put others at risk if you are feeling ill in any way.”

Canada’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Theresa Tam agrees with those control measures saying on Twitter they “can slow spread, reduce peak impact on the health system and give hospitals time to prepare/manage surge. It will take everyone working together to #FlattentheCurve.”

Tam also recommends implementing social distancing as a control measure adding this “and other measures that public health officials are recommending now may seem extreme – but robust action now can help avert extreme pressure on our health system and across society.”

On Wednesday, Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu said as many as 30 to 70 per cent of Canadians could be infected with coronavirus at some point. She added this depends on how health agencies respond to the virus.

The comments come hours after the federal government announced plans to invest $1 billion to fight COVID-19 including $500 to the provinces and territories for health care workers.

WATCHFederal government announces $1 billion to help provinces respond to COVID-19