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18 people tested for coronavirus in Alberta; still no probable or confirmed cases
EDMONTON -- Eighteen people have tested for coronavirus in Alberta in January, but there are still no probable or confirmed cases, Alberta Health said Friday.
Alberta's emergency response centre has activated its Level 2 protocol as precaution a day after the World Health Organization declared a global health emergency over novel coronavirus.
The Provincial Operations Centre activates Level 2 when there is a "potential significant disruption to a community."
"We are using our emergency response processes to help coordinate communication and planning around the novel coronavirus," Alberta Health spokesperson Tom McMillan said.
"This isn’t a measure we’re taking because the risk has changed," Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw added. "There's a lot of attention on this – we need to make sure our communication is coordinated."
Alberta maintained there are no probable or confirmed coronavirus cases in the province and that the risk remains low.
"Albertans are still more likely to experience a respiratory infection caused by a common virus, such as the flu," McMillan said.
A third coronavirus case was confirmed in Ontario on Friday. Another person was diagnosed in B.C. earlier this week.
The virus has killed at least 170 people and more than 9,500 people have been diagnosed with it worldwide.
The province activates its Level 3 and 4 protocols when a "significant incident has occurred," like the 2011 Slave Lake wildfires and 2013 southern Alberta floods.