COVID-19 Update: Alberta farmers calling for shoring up food supply | Bigger class could lead to wave of infections, says study

Calgarians enjoy a sunny warm summer day on the Bow River on Saturday, August 22, 2020.

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.

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Alberta farmers join coalition calling for feds to shore up food supply in wake of COVID-19

 An Alberta farmer cuts a canola crop during last year’s harvest. Alberta farmers have joined a national coalition of producers calling for the federal government to help producers improve their climate resiliency after COVID-19 impacted national food supply.

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.

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German scientists stage concert experiment to see how large gatherings spread COVID-19

 People wearing protective face masks take part in a transmission risk assessment study at an indoor arena on Aug. 22, 2020 in Leipzig, Germany.

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.

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Bigger class could mean up to five times the COVID-19 infections, Canadian study suggests

 Students at a Berlin high school practise hand disinfection on Aug. 10, 2020. Researchers have explored how different combination of class sizes and time in class could affect potential COVID-19 outbreaks.

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.

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‘This shouldn’t have happened’: Father blames son’s death on COVID-19 restrictions

 Aaron Ogden is shown in this undated image supplied by his family.

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.

Ogden said while in hospital before his death, his son told him he was supposed to go for a CT scan in June while still living in Saskatchewan near Yorkton.

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.”

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Ottawa paid $37M to quarantine international arrivals who lacked a proper plan

 An Air Tahiti flight taxis at Vancouver International Airport recently.

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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