Skip to content

UPDATE: First confirmed COVID-19 cases reported in Airdrie, Chestermere, Cochrane

Editor's note: This story was updated March 23 with comment from AHS and Airdrie Mayor Peter Brown, as well as updated figures from March 23 from Alberta Health Services.

Airdrie and Rocky View County have recorded their first confirmed cases of COVID-19.

According to the Government of Alberta’s geospatial heat map, outlining where cases of the virus has been confirmed, three individuals have tested positive in Airdrie as of March 23. 

"First and foremost, I hope the three people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 return to 100 per cent health and limit the spread to the rest of the community by following all the great advice that's out there from Alberta Health Services and the provincial government," said Airdrie's Mayor Peter Brown. "Any new cases in Airdrie, we wish for a speedy recovery."

With the news of the city's first confirmed cases, Brown added he encourages vigilance from residents, in both monitoring their own health and staying informed as the pandemic evolves. 

"The best advice I've heard so far is to act like you have the virus," he said. "Be vigilant all the time. Our emergency management team is working every day as this continues to unfold. We know people are concerned, but the best way to alleviate concern is to be informed, so make sure you go to the City's website, Alberta Health Services, and social media has a ton of things from the provincial government."

Details on each confirmed case, such as the age of the person, the community they live in or whether their infection was travel-related or the result of community transmission, are not released by Alberta Health Services (AHS) to protect the privacy of those infected.

"As per standard practice for all cases of COVID-19, AHS has directly contacted any individual considered exposed to these cases and these people are now also in self-isolation and being tested for COVID-19," read a statement from the health authority. 

According to AHS, only those individuals contacted directly by AHS are considered to be exposed to any case.

"If you are not contacted directly by AHS, you are not considered exposed," AHS said.

As of 4:30 p.m. March 23, there are 301 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alberta, with 188 of those – 62 per cent – in the Calgary zone. Airdrie and Rocky View County are included in the Calgary Health Zone. 

In total, more than 27,000 people in Alberta were tested for the virus as of March 22, with less than one per cent testing positive. 

North of Airdrie, the jurisdiction that includes Crossfield, Irricana and Beiseker also has one confirmed case of the novel coronavirus, according to the data.

Other municipalities in Rocky View County that have confirmed cases include Chestermere and Cochrane-Springbank, with four reported in each jurisdiction.

Christina Waldner, Town of Crossfield's communications/research officer, said the Town is aware of the confirmed case and, like other municipalities, has ramped up its efforts to slow the spread of the virus.

"For instance, we shut down all of our community facilities and Town facilities – or at least limited access," she said. "The Town office is closed to the public, though staff is still there. The fire hall is closed to the public but the fire department is still, obviously, responding to calls for service.

“There are different things happening at the water plant we’re doing to make sure things continue to run efficiently, so we’re not forced to shut down essential services. The library is closed and there are things going on, so we are following the recommendations of the province. We’re hoping businesses and other facilities in town are doing the same.”

Follow our COVID-19 special section for the latest local and national news on the coronavirus pandemic, as well as resources, FAQs and more.

Scott Strasser,
Follow me on Twitter @scottstrasser19




push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks