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UPDATE: Province to provide update on two new presumptive cases of COVID-19

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, provincial health officer, confirmed the province's first presumed case of the coronavirus on March 5. SCREENSHOT

On Sunday morning, the province announced there were two new presumptive cases of COVID-19 in Alberta.

The case are considered presumptive as testing has not yet been confirmed at the national lab.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, said the province was notified late last night of two new presumptive cases. Both are recovering in isolation at their homes. Alberta's first case, involving a woman in the Calgary Zone, is no longer presumptive and has been confirmed by the national lab.

"This marks four cases in four days. For many, this may be alarming. I want to underline that three of these four cases are linked to a single cruise ship," Hinshaw said.

"It is also important to know that yesterday alxone, 299 tests were done for COVID-19 and 297 of those were negative. What these cases do tell us is the approach Alberta is taking is the right one."

A male in his 60s who lives in the Edmonton Zone is now Alberta's third presumptive case. He was on the Grand Princess Cruise and returned to Alberta on Feb. 21.

A woman in her 30s from the Calgary Zone is also presumed to have the virus. She is a close contact of someone who had recently travelled to Ukraine, Turkey and the Netherlands. That person also lives in Alberta, and Hinshaw said the province is waiting for test results to see if they are also a presumptive case.

Hinshaw said health officials are contacting everyone who may have been in close contact with them.

Last week, the first two presumptive cases in the province were confirmed.

RELATED: Alberta confirms first presumptive case of coronavirus

On Thursday, Alberta Health confirmed the province’s first presumptive case of COVID-19. Health officials said a woman in her 50s living in Calgary was presumed to have the virus. The woman had returned from travel on board a Grand Princess cruise ship on Feb. 21, and was self-isolating since Feb. 28.

Hinshaw said Sunday Canada's national lab results show she is now confirmed to have the virus.

Health officials have been in contact with those closest to her, as well as working with her employer, Alberta Treasury Branch (ATB). 

RELATED: Edmonton-area man is Alberta's second presumptive coronavirus case

On Friday, a second person was diagnosed with a presumptive case of the virus: a man is his forties within the Edmonton zone. 

At the time, Hinshaw said the individual had returned from a business trip to the United States on Feb. 28. Health officials confirmed the second case late afternoon on March 6. 

On Sunday, Hinshaw added the man is believed to have caught the virus from a travel companion who had previously been a passenger on the Grand Princess Cruise ship, who is now a confirmed case in B.C.

Hinshaw said it's critical for everyone to take seriously recommendations to stay home if they have a fever or cough. She reiterated people should wash their hands, cover their coughs and stay home when sick.

"I want all Albertans to understand that our public health measures are doing precisely what they were intended to do: detect new cases and take immediate action," she said.

Coronavirus spreads by fluids, such as from a cough or sneeze, or by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching your eyes or mouth, Hinshaw said. It causes mild illness in most people but can be severe or deadly for elderly people or people with medical conditions.

The risk of catching coronavirus in Alberta remains low at this time.

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