COVID-19 Update: Parents nervous about return to school | ‘Cynical spreaders’ more common in Alberta | COVID kills CFL season

Images from Calgary and area during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

  • A new survey suggests the majority of Canadian parents plan to send their kids back to school but most would want classes cancelled if there is a new COVID-19 outbreak in their community.
  • Alberta reported 359 new cases over the weekend (177 on Friday, 86 on Saturday, 96 on Sunday) and three additional deaths. There are 1,132 active cases in the province.
  • 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.
  • An exposure alert for parts of B.C. has been issued after an Alberta prayer and worship event lead to 17 cases of COVID-19 in the Fort St. John area.
  • A lawyer representing a group of Quebec parents says he’s moving forward with a legal challenge aimed at forcing the province to offer remote learning for families who don’t want their children returning to classrooms this fall.
  • Starting today, Calgary Transit is lifting its COVID-19 related seating restrictions, returning to full seated capacity on buses and CTrains.
  • Sixty-seven days after it was supposed to kick off, the Canadian Football League season has been cancelled.
  • Alberta is running a pilot on “pool testing” in order to expand testing capacity for COVID-19.
  • Stats Canada is reporting hundreds more deaths than usual since the start of the pandemic, and more than can be attributed to coronavirus.
  • The Calgary Board of Education and the Calgary Catholic School District are introducing mask policies to include all students, including grades K-3.
  • The U.S. border closure has been extended to Sept. 21.

Many parents nervous about return of school, plan to send kids anyway: survey

 An empty classroom is pictured at McGee Secondary school in Vancouver.

With only weeks until classes resume, a new survey suggests the majority of Canadian parents plan to send their kids back to school but most would want classes cancelled if there is a new COVID-19 outbreak in their community.

The survey by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies is the latest to take parents’ temperature as provinces prepare to reopen schools after sending children home this spring when the pandemic arrived.

The results suggest many parents are torn, with 66 per cent of respondents with children admitting they were worried about children returning to school but 63 per cent saying they planned to send their kids anyway.

Read more.


Corbella: The stats show kids should return to school — without worry

 Students line up outside St. Francis High School for their diploma exam on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020.

Herald columnist Licia Corbella writes:

As the start of school fast approaches, the 

anxiety levels of parents

 — who normally look forward to their kids getting back into a school routine — are spiking.

But nothing worth doing in life is without risk. It’s a matter of weighing and balancing those risks. The simple arithmetic indicates that most Canadian kids should return to school come September.

Read more.


Substitute teachers in Alberta say they don’t want to risk extra COVID-19 exposure

 Teacher Kendra Mills speaks during a news conference called by NDP Opposition eduction critic Sarah Hoffman in Edmonton on Monday.

Some substitute teachers say they won’t risk exposing themselves to COVID-19 amid continuing calls for more funding to make Alberta’s school re-entry plan work.

Tara Noseworthy, a teacher in the Cold Lake area who put her name forward as a substitute when she couldn’t secure a full-time position, said she is “immensely worried” about entering a classroom in which a teacher has called in sick.

Read more.


CFL season killed by COVID-19 is ‘disheartening’ for Stamps boss

 The CFL officially cancelled the 2020 season on Monday.

Calgary Stampeders president and general manager John Hufnagel isn’t trying to hide it. There’s nothing good about Monday’s announcement that the 2020 CFL season has been cancelled.

“It’s something where we have to say, ‘OK, 2020 is over, we’ve gotta move on and make it the best that we can.’ ”

It is entirely unclear what the CFL will look like if and when it returns in 2021, although there is no reason for anyone to worry about the Stampeders. They’re in OK shape financially, and they’ll be back when the league is back.

Read more.


Monday

Higher percentage of ‘cynical spreaders’ of novel coronavirus in Alberta, survey shows

 Calgary Transit lifted its COVID-19-related seating restrictions on Monday.

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.

Results from an Angus Reid Institute survey show there are three camps of people in regards to COVID-19 compliance: the “infection fighters” who follow virus suppression behaviours carefully, the “inconsistent” who take a more half-in, half-out approach to flattening the curve, and the “cynical spreaders” who have expanded their social circles, don’t physically distance and are ambivalent towards handwashing and mask-wearing.

Read more

.


Monday

359 new cases, three additional deaths


Monday

Rural Alberta worship event leads to outbreak of 17 cases in northern B.C.

An exposure alert for parts of B.C. has been issued after an Alberta prayer and worship event lead to 17 cases of COVID-19 in the Fort St. John area.

In an alert posted Monday, Northern Health said 12 people who attended the

It Is Time Canada prayer gathering

 between July 20 and Aug. 2 in Deadwood, Alta., were infected with the virus. Five others were infected following exposure to the initial dozen.

Read more.

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