With news on COVID-19 happening rapidly, we’ve created this page to bring you our latest stories and information on the outbreak in and around Calgary.
What’s happening now
- Alberta Health Services has received nearly 20,000 reports of alleged infractions of COVID-19 guidelines since the start of the pandemic.
- Alberta reported Friday 144 new cases and two additional deaths. There are 1,144 active cases in the province, 294 of which are in Calgary.
- Alberta parents and teachers protested in front of the offices of United Conservative Government MLAs Friday, demanding more funding and safety measures ahead of the planned September return to schools.
- Education Minister Adriana LaGrange took to Twitter to say school boards are able to delay or stagger starts as needed and teachers already have “clear time” to prepare for re-entry with the current dates. The Calgary Catholic School Board said they will be starting on Sept. 2.
- A Kentucky man could face a fine of up to $750,000 or six months in jail for allegedly violating a quarantine order in the Alberta Rockies in late June.
- CERB has been extended for another four weeks while the federal Liberals roll out a replacement, $37-billion simplified EI program.
- A report by the University of Calgary says people who genuinely can’t wear masks should be given greater consideration through an educational campaign to heighten awareness.
- One-in-five Canadians are making little to no effort to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, and Alberta is home to a higher percentage of the country’s “cynical spreaders,” according to a national poll.
Alberta farmers join coalition calling for feds to shore up food supply in wake of COVID-19
The calls come as the government looks towards an economic recovery plan in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. FCS is lobbying the government to keep food producers in mind as they build that plan.
The pandemic hit Alberta’s food supply line particularly hard as outbreaks at the Cargill slaughterhouse in High River and the JBS food processing plant in Brooks led to thousands of cases. The Cargill plant, that has been linked to 1,500 cases, was forced to close for weeks before reopening with additional safety measures.
Barritt said governments need to build up medium and small scale producers so the supply line doesn’t remain so heavily centralized.
German scientists stage concert experiment to see how large gatherings spread COVID-19
LEIPZIG — Around 1,500 volunteers equipped with face masks, hand disinfectant and tracking gadgets attended an indoor concert in Germany on Saturday as part of a study to simulate how the novel coronavirus spreads in large gatherings.
As part of the so-called Restart19 study, researchers from the University Medical Center in Halle want to find out how cultural and sporting events can safely take place without posing a risk to the population.
Researchers asked participants to regularly disinfect their hands using the fluorescent sanitiser so scientists can identify – with the help of ultra-violet light – which surfaces are touched frequently and pose a risk for spreading the virus.
Bigger class could mean up to five times the COVID-19 infections, Canadian study suggests
Just how great a risk or not COVID-19 is in classrooms has an entire nation slightly unnerved, so mathematician Chris Bauch and his collaborators decided to plug some scenarios into a model.
Their projections? Class sizes of the magnitude many provinces are allowing could lead to outbreaks lasting weeks or even months.
Policy makers planning for elementary school class sizes of 30 kids or more “need to immediately reconfigure their school opening plans” and switch to hybrid models of part in-person, part online, said Bauch, a professor of mathematics at Waterloo University.
‘This shouldn’t have happened’: Father blames son’s death on COVID-19 restrictions
Aaron Ogden died in a Calgary hospital last Saturday after collapsing on a run.
His father, Mark, was able to be by his son’s side. He said a major blood clot had formed around a stent placed in his son’s aorta. The stent was necessary after he survived a serious highway accident on his way to work last year.
It was a routine checkup on the stent, but the appointment was postponed because of restrictions around the COVID-19 pandemic and never rescheduled.
Aaron’s father believes the missed appointment led to his son’s death.
“People’s lives are being lost,” he said. “These COVID rules are way too far.”
Ottawa paid $37M to quarantine international arrivals who lacked a proper plan
The federal government has been footing for arrivals to Canada who have no place to quarantine during the pandemic, expenses that added up to $37 million in accommodation and food over the past four months.
Tens of thousands of travellers continue to arrive by air and by land, according to Canada Border Services Agency, and must quarantine for 14 days.
If they do not have a suitable plan for quarantine at home, friends, family or in paid accommodation, CBSA will refer them to the health agency “for further assessment,” said the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Between April 1 and Aug. 15, 2,306 travellers have been put up at undisclosed hotels in several cities, including Metro Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and Fredericton.
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