COVID-19 Update: 1,521 new cases, two deaths | Calgary traveller shocked by Ottawa’s uneven quarantine measures

Watch this page throughout the day for updates on COVID-19 in Calgary

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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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My COVID Story: How have you been impacted by coronavirus?

Postmedia is looking to speak with people who may have been impacted by COVID-19 here in Alberta.  Have you undergone a travel-related quarantine? Have you received your vaccine, and if so did you feel any side effects? Have you changed your life for the better because of the pandemic? Send us an email at reply@calgaryherald.com to tell us your experience, or send us a message via this form.

Read our ongoing coverage of personal stories arising from the pandemic.



More than 300 Calgary pharmacies offering COVID-19 vaccine

Pharmacist Brian Jones with a COVID-19 vaccine at the Evergreen Village Shoppers Drug Mart in Calgary.
Pharmacist Brian Jones with a COVID-19 vaccine at the Evergreen Village Shoppers Drug Mart in Calgary. Photo by Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia

There are now 321 pharmacies offering the COVID-19 vaccine in Calgary. Appointments are still necessary and can be booked by contacting participating pharmacies by phone or online. Before booking, go to the Alberta government website to find out when you’re eligible for your free vaccination. More details on booking an appointment at a pharmacy can be found at Alberta Blue Cross.


Friday

Nearly 50,000 AstraZeneca shots available in Calgary next week

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Friday

‘Gaps in the system’: Calgary traveller shocked by Ottawa’s uneven quarantine measures

Arriving international travellers head to the COVID testing area at Calgary International Airport on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021.
Arriving international travellers head to the COVID testing area at Calgary International Airport on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. Photo by Azin Ghaffari/Postmedia/File

A Calgary man who returned from a three-month stay at his Phoenix, Ariz. property last week said he was shocked by lax enforcement of the mandatory hotel quarantine for returning travellers at Calgary International Airport.

Bill Lister said when he landed in Calgary, he was free to walk out of the airport and into the back of a taxi, saying it’s just one of the “gaps in the system.”

Though he could have left, he went to complete his hotel stay, as required. But he said hotel staff informed him he could leave at any time if he chose to do so.

“I’m not an anti-quarantine guy… My point with the program is that, if you have a program, you should have a program,” Lister said.

Read more.


Friday

Alberta reports more than 1,500 COVID-19 cases for first time since mid-December

Jason Kozar and Sora Han cross the 10th Street Bridge into Kensington on Thursday, April 8, 2021.
Jason Kozar and Sora Han cross the 10th Street Bridge into Kensington on Thursday, April 8, 2021. Photo by Brendan Miller/Postmedia

Alberta’s third wave of COVID-19 infections continued to grow Friday, as the province reported its highest single-day case count in months.

The province reported 1,521 new cases of the novel coronavirus Friday, the most since Dec. 16, when Alberta was still in the grips of a devastating second wave.

The newly reported infections came from 15,611 tests, representing a 9.7-per-cent positivity rate.

Case counts of more-contagious variant strains of COVID-19 also rose, as Alberta tallied another 674 variant infections.

Read more.


Friday

YMCA Calgary suspends indoor activities

The new YMCA at Seton in Calgary, on Friday September 14, 2018.
The new YMCA at Seton in Calgary, on Friday September 14, 2018. Photo by Leah Hennel /Leah Hennel/Postmedia

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YMCA Calgary is temporarily suspending all indoor activities until further notice due to rising COVID-19 cases.

YMCA Calgary made the announcement in a news release Friday afternoon, but noted it would still be providing outdoor and virtual programming.

“We have taken into account the health and safety of our staff, volunteers, members and participants given rising COVID case rates in this Third Wave,” YMCA Calgary said in the news release.
“We have also examined the new level of restrictions, our capacity to serve the community under those restrictions and considered our current financial circumstances. Although we remain resilient, this very challenging year has influenced the programs and services we can offer while still paying our charity’s expenses.”

The outdoor programming still on offer includes active programming for kids, adults and teens; outdoor fitness and yoga classes; family experiences and summer day camps from July 4 to Aug. 27. YMCA Calgary also continues to offer virtual workouts through its Facebook page.

Given the hit to revenue current and earlier restrictions have caused, YMCA Calgary is asking members and supporters to consider donating to the organization.


Friday

The third wave in Calgary

A masked man walks down Stephen Avenue on Thursday.
A masked man walks down Stephen Avenue on Thursday. Photo by Christopher Landry/Postmedia

Here are daily new COVID-19 cases in the city since Nov. 1, broken down by age. Almost every age group is near or above levels seen during the second wave, particularly younger age groups. There is even a slight increase in the largely vaccinated 70+ group. In the past week, there have been 104 new infections in that group.

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Friday

Calgary Hitmen and Medicine Hat Tigers suspend activities after positive COVID-19 test

The Calgary Hitmen celebrate a goal from Carson Focht against the Lethbridge Hurricanes at the Saddledome on Dec. 15, 2019.
The Calgary Hitmen celebrate a goal from Carson Focht against the Lethbridge Hurricanes at the Saddledome on Dec. 15, 2019. Photo by Brendan Miller /Postmedia

COVID has struck the Calgary Hitmen.

The Western Hockey League broke the news Friday that “a player within the team cohort of the Calgary Hitmen” has tested positive for COVID-19, forcing the club to suspend all team activities effective immediately.

That puts an indefinite pause on what has already been a shortened schedule of 24 games due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Due to the fact the players are minors and out of respect for private medical information, the team has refused comment on the situation at this time.

Read more.


Friday

As Kenney’s COVID approval sinks, experts call it a situation of his own creation

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. Photo by David Bloom /Postmedia, file

Experts say mounting disapproval over Premier Jason Kenney’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and tensions within his caucus surrounding public-health restrictions are the result of the Alberta leader’s own mixed messaging in response to the crisis.

Survey results released Friday by the Angus Reid Institute indicated three-quarters of Albertans feel Kenney is doing a bad job handling the pandemic more than a year since it began. It marked the highest disapproval rating for a premier of any region in Canada, according to the poll.

Just 23 per cent of the 162 Albertans polled said Kenney was doing a good job, which was the lowest score for any premier in the country.

Read more.


Friday

Dandy Brewing closes temporarily after delivery person tests positive

The Dandy Brewing Company is temporarily closing its tasting room after a vendor who made a delivery tested positive for COVID-19.

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The vendor made the delivery on Tuesday afternoon, Dandy said in an a post on Instagram.

“Although the staff they interacted with was limited, and proper protocol was observed, out of abundance of caution we are closing the tasting room today (Friday, April 9) until we can get more information from AHS as to the safest next steps and the staff involved can be tested.”

Dandy said in the post that it doesn’t believe it is required to close by AHS guidelines, but are doing so due to rising COVID-19 cases overall and rising numbers of cases of variants of concern.

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Friday

How ‘excess deaths’ show COVID’s real impact, and point to better ways of combating pandemics

According to a Statistics Canada report last month, this country saw 13,798 more deaths than would be expected by mid-December of 2020, based on previous years and after accounting for the aging population.
According to a Statistics Canada report last month, this country saw 13,798 more deaths than would be expected by mid-December of 2020, based on previous years and after accounting for the aging population. Photo by Peter J. Thompson/National Post/File

More than a year into the pandemic, it’s a refrain that still reverberates on social media: COVID-19 is no worse than the seasonal flu, so why all the fuss?

From such thinking flows condemnation of lockdowns and their harsh side effects and sometimes conspiracy theories about drug companies, rich philanthropists and vaccines.

But a metric that’s drawn relatively little public attention belies the narrative that the coronavirus threat has been grossly exaggerated. Statistics indicate that Canada and most other countries have seen significant rates of “excess deaths” during the pandemic — many more people dying than the average for previous years.

And the worldwide excess-death data reveal some intriguing trends, patterns that might indicate how best to tackle the next pandemic.

Read more.


Friday

1,521 new cases, two deaths

The latest COVID-19 numbers for Alberta:

  • 1,521 new cases on 15,611 tests
  • 333 in hospital; 83 in ICUs
  • Two additional deaths; 2,007 total
  • 13,059 active cases; 143,360 recovered
  • 674 new variant cases identified; variants represent 45.5% of active cases

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There was no live update from Dr. Deena Hinshaw on Friday and none scheduled until Tuesday.

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