COVID-19 Update: Schools waiting on federal funding for safety measures | Lilydale plant to remain open amid outbreak

Number of seats in sitting area have been limited to implement physical distancing in Henry Wise Wood High School on Friday, August 28, 2020. Azin Ghaffari/Postmedia

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

3:20 p.m.

Banff bud weathers mellow tourism season

With its stunning scenic vistas and trails where cannabis can be legally consumed, Banff National Park is considered a peak buzz zone by those who partake and a prestige locale for their suppliers.

But this summer’s tourist buzz has been partially muted by COVID-19’s disruption of international travel, while many of the foreign workers who normally flock to Banff returned to their homelands last spring.

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1:55 p.m.

U.S. coronavirus cases near 6 million as Midwest, schools face outbreaks

 NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 25: A sign directs students at New York University (NYU) outside of a COVID-19 test outside of its business school on August 25, 2020 in New York City. All students arriving back to the campus are required to get tested for the virus upon arrival, students will then have to be tested again seven to 10 days later.

U.S. cases of the novel coronavirus were approaching 6 million on Sunday as many states in the Midwest reported increasing infections, according to a Reuters tally.

Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota have recently reported record one-day increases in new cases while Montana and Idaho are seeing record numbers of currently hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

Nationally, metrics on new cases, deaths, hospitalizations and the positivity rates of tests are all declining, but there are emerging hotspots in the Midwest.

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1:55 p.m.

Police break up forest rave in England amid COVID-19 clampdown

 Equipment is seen at Thetford Forest after police shut down a suspected illegal rave, in Norfolk, Britain, August 30, 2020.

THETFORD FOREST — Police broke up an overnight illegal rave in a forest in eastern England on Sunday, days after the British government introduced tougher measures to target “serious breaches” of COVID-19 restrictions, including 10,000-pound ($13,000) fines.

Dozens of officers, some holding protective shields, faced off with the revelers in Thetford Forest but despite a few scuffles, the party was largely dispersed peacefully. There did not appear to have been any arrests and the police dismantled the sound system.

Before a three-day bank holiday weekend, the government had said “those facilitating or organizing illegal raves, unlicensed music events, or any other unlawful gathering of more than 30 people may face a 10,000-pound fine.”

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1:15 p.m.

Recent spike in COVID-19, so Manitoba reworks six-figure ad campaign

 A billboard related to the COVID-19 pandemic from the Manitoba government is shown in Winnipeg on Friday Aug. 28, 2020. The government has reworked its pandemic advertising campaign following a rise in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.

WINNIPEG — Manitoba’s COVID-19 numbers were once the envy of most other provinces, but there have been several outbreaks in recent weeks, and the government is having to alter its six-figure ad campaign.

The campaign, once focused on economic recovery, is becoming more about health precautions.

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Federal education funding still in limbo days before Alberta back-to-school

 Hand sanitizers have been provided in the common areas in Henry Wise Wood High School on Friday, August 28, 2020. Azin Ghaffari/Postmedia

There is still no timeline for when school authorities will be able to access Alberta’s share of the $2 billion in federal funding pledged last week to support provincial school reopening plans.

The Alberta government said it had not yet received any of

its $262.8 million cut of the funding announced Tuesday

by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, with school districts in the province only days away from welcoming back students for the fall semester amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Given that the funding was suddenly announced on Tuesday, officials are still working out details on how this funding will be distributed to Alberta’s school authorities,” said Colin Aitchison, press secretary to Education Minister Adriana LaGrange, in a statement.

“At this point I cannot give a timeline as we have not received the funding from the Federal Government yet.”

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Calgary chicken processing plant will remain open after COVID-19 outbreak

 Multiple workers have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Lilydale poultry plant in southeast Calgary.

The Sofina Foods/Lilydale poultry processing plant in Calgary will remain open despite a growing COVID-19 outbreak.

An Alberta Health official said Friday there had been 19 cases of the virus with 18 of them still considered active.

But an official with the company said the number is now higher than that.

“Alberta Health Services (AHS) confirmed that, after we encouraged all our employees to take a second test, 9 additional individuals tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. This brings our total to 27 employees, all from the same shift,” said spokesperson Daniele Dufour said in an email to The Canadian Press.

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Two Canadian Forces members test positive for COVID-19

 A Canadian flag sits on a members of Canadian forces that are leaving from CFB Trenton, in Trenton, Ont., on October 16, 2014.

Two members of the Canadian military who recently flew back to Canada from the Middle East have tested positive for COVID-19, the Defence Department said Saturday.

In a statement, the department said the Canadian Armed Forces members were aboard a flight bringing 35 personnel from Operation IMPACT, a Middle East training mission, back to Canada.

“While all COVID-19 health and safety protocols and precautions were observed before, during, and after the flight, there does remain a risk for deployed personnel,” the statement read.

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