COVID-19 Weekly Regional Update
The Government of Alberta announced $2.1 million in funding for seven COVID-19 research projects on Sept. 28.
A panel of provincial partners, including experts from Alberta Innovates, Alberta Health, and Alberta Health Services, chose these projects based on their potential to improve Albertans’ safety against COVID-19. The research will include topics like antibody detection and real-life experiences of patients and caregivers. The projects include:
- Jie Chen at the University of Alberta received $304,200 for the development and clinical validation of a rapid COVID-19 antibody detection device.
- Andrei Drabovich at the University of Alberta received $182,098 for design and standardization of serology testing.
- Matthias Hoben at the University of Alberta received $328,376 to study the experiences and support needs of COVID-19 caregivers at assisted living facilities.
- Jia Hu at the University of Calgary received $392,080 to study how COVID-19 has changed behaviours through a targeted marketing campaign.
- Mark Lewis at the University of Alberta received $220,545 (supported through Alberta Health’s Pfizer Alberta Collaboration) to research predicting and managing COVID-19’s pandemic dynamics using machine learning.
- Ken Parhar at the University of Calgary received $362,285 to evaluate how lying in prone position (flat with the chest down) may treat acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in COVID-19 patients.
- Puneeta Tandon at the University of Alberta received $326,297 to study appropriately connecting vulnerable outpatients with multidisciplinary care once released from hospital.
“COVID-19 has highlighted the connection between health and economic wellbeing, as well as the ways in which both are lifted through research and innovation. Alberta Innovates brings together the best ideas and the brightest minds to accelerate solutions to challenges like the pandemic. These additional seven projects are driving innovative solutions to improve outcomes around prevention, detection, care, and recovery for Albertans,” stated Alberta Innovates CEO Laura Kilcrease.
“Our post-secondary institutions have the people, knowledge, and expertise to take on the challenges of this pandemic. From potential short-term solutions and assistance to gaining a greater understanding of the longer-term impacts of COVID-19, Alberta is taking a leading role and further establishing our province as a global leader in health research,” stated Minister of Advanced Education Demetrios Nicolaides.
As of Sept. 29, the total number of confirmed cases in Alberta was 17,909. The number of active cases was 1,571. Sixty-three people were hospitalized with 13 people in ICU. A total of 266 deaths have been reported. The total number of tests completed was 1,366,742 with 16,187 people tested on Sept. 28.
In Vegreville/Minburn County there were 8 confirmed cases, 0 active cases, 8 recovered cases, and 0 deaths. In Two Hills County, there were 18 confirmed cases, 0 active cases, 17 recovered cases, and 1 death. In Lamont County, there were 9 confirmed cases, 0 active cases, 9 recovered cases, and 0 deaths. In Tofield (Beaver County East) there were 74 confirmed cases, 0 active cases, 74 recovered cases, and 0 deaths. In Viking (Beaver County West) there were 15 confirmed cases, 0 active cases, 15 recovered cases, and 0 deaths.
As reported on Sept. 28, there were 210 confirmed cases in 113 schools. Of those, 66 schools with 71 total cases are on alert. Outbreaks are declared in 47 schools with 139 total cases. Of those, six are on watch with more than five cases each. A total of 20 schools have now been removed from the alert list since the school year began. Schools in Lamont County, Beaver County, Two Hills County, and Minburn County are classified as open which means no schools in these areas have outbreaks of 5 or more cases.
The online school status map identifies individual schools.