What you need to know about coronavirus COVID-19

Recently, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has been circulating the globe. Many organizations, government bodies and health offices, are actively monitoring and protecting the health and safety of our staff, customers and general public. Below is some information on what you should know about COVID-19.

The government has provided information about when and how the province will be re-opening. More information can be found in a PDF here or on the government website here.

What is COVID-19?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause respiratory illness in people, ranging from mild common colds to severe illnesses. Others cause illness in animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people, and more rarely, these can then spread from person to person through close contact. Novel coronaviruses are new strains of the virus that have not been previously identified in humans (Alberta Health Services).


COVID-19 symptoms are like seasonal influenza and other respiratory illnesses. They can range from mild to severe and include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing

Older adults and people with medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and lung disease are more likely to become seriously ill.

If you are experiencing symptoms...

  • AND have recently travelled to an affected area in the 14 days before you developed symptoms
  • OR have been in close contact with someone displaying symptoms who recently returned from an affected area within 14 days of becoming ill
  • OR have been in close contact with a case of COVID-19

Alberta Health Services recommends that you self-isolate and limit contact with others for the next 14 days. If you're unsure whether you should self-isolate or have questions about how to self-isolate, follow these guidelines. Still have more questions, read Alberta Health Services' COVID-19 FAQs for the Public

Take these steps to stay healthy

The best way to combat COVID-19 is three simple (and fundamental) words: wash your hands!

Wash your hands

  • Use soap and water, lather your hands and scrub for 15-20 seconds
  • Rinse your hands for 10 seconds in running water
  • Dry with a clean paper towel, turning off water taps using the paper towel


  • Sneezing, coughing, blowing your nose
  • Using the washroom
  • Handling garbage
  • Working outdoors

Before and After:

  • Preparing and eating food
  • Touching a cut or open sore
  • Touching eyes, nose or mouth

Prevent the spread of germs

  • Cough and sneeze into your arm/elbow
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth after shaking hands
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth after touching hard surfaces like counters and door handles
  • Stay home and away from others if you are feeling symptoms


  • If you can’t wash your hands, use an alcohol-based sanitizer. Use one with 60 percent alcohol or greater.
  • Antibacterial soap does not work better than plain soap in preventing infections. Antibacterial soap can cause antibiotic resistance (superbugs).

Stay up to date on all current information about COVID-19:

There are a lot of fears and myths about COVID-19, but the World Health Organization created some COVID-19 myth busters to help us know the facts. 

To keep up to date with government health information, you can access the daily briefs from Alberta's Chief Medical Officer here.

*Credit: Edmonton Public Library