‘Third wave is much worse’: Nenshi pushes Calgarians to follow COVID-19 health rules

CALGARY — With more than 8,800 active cases of COVID-19 in the city of Calgary, Mayor Nenshi is concerned about the rapid rise of cases and is concerned that vaccination rates won’t be able to keep up with transmission of the illness.

In a statement released Thursday, he said that the peak of the second wave has already been exceeded and new infections just aren’t slowing down.

He’s also anxious that the current vaccination program just won’t be able to cope.

“While vaccinations are promising, we must remember that we cannot vaccinate ourselves out of this current trend of transmission,” he said.

“The third wave is much worse than the second wave. Our numbers just keep rising. We expect new variant cases to double every two-and-a-half weeks. The end of the pandemic is near, but we’re not there yet.”

HEALTH ENFORCEMENT FACES CHALLENGES

While mask-wearing and other health guidelines are strictly enforced in the city of Calgary, officials say there are still situations where residents are flaunting the rules.

“We continue to focus efforts on those who are repeat offenders and organizers of some of the events, rallies and protests that are impacting the safety of our community,” said CPS Deputy Chief Chad Tawfik.

He said that while residents may not witness police officers handing out tickets, enforcement is taking place and the CPS is working with both Alberta Health and Alberta Justice to “address any gaps.”

“This is definitely a systems approach, and we will do our part to hold to account those who are defiant of the health orders,” Tawfik said. “We rely on the entire system to ensure compliance and encourage everyone to do their part to keep our communities safe, which includes following the Public Health Act restrictions.”

NO SHOWS TO TESTING APPOINTMENTS

The Calgary Emergency Management Agency says the vaccination site set up at the TELUS Convention Centre has administered 26,190 doses to residents between April 10 and 27. There are also 26,587 more appointments scheduled this week.

However, appointments for testing continue to fall behind in the Calgary Zone, health officials say.

“For the third day in a row, over 1,000 people who booked a COVID-19 test appointment in the Calgary Zone did not show up for their test,” Alberta Health Services wrote in an email to CTV News Thursday.

Officials say the missed appointments are about 20 per cent of the bookings.

CALGARY INCLUDED IN PROVINCE’S TARGETED RESTRICTIONS

The city of Calgary is included in the new plan for targeted COVID-19 restrictions in Alberta, meaning all indoor sport, fitness and recreation activities will be suspended until further notice starting April 30.

All high school and junior high school students will also be learning from home for the next two weeks starting Monday. The move comes a day after both the Calgary Board of Education and Calgary Catholic School District requested Alberta Education to extend their online learning format.

Officials say they are working through the remainder of the restrictions announced for Calgary to “understand their impacts” on services and facilities.

Edmonton, Red Deer, Grande Prairie, Airdrie, Lethbridge, Wood Buffalo and Strathcona County are also included in the province’s list for targeted restrictions.

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