COVID-19 Update: Alberta returns to Step 1 of reopening | 931 new cases, three deaths | Everyone in Phase 2B eligible for vaccine tomorrow

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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Tuesday

Alberta reintroduces restrictions on restaurants, gyms and retail as variant cases climb

Patrons enjoy the sun on the outdoor patio at Trolley 5 Restaurant and Brewery on 17th Avenue S.W. on Tuesday.
Patrons enjoy the sun on the outdoor patio at Trolley 5 Restaurant and Brewery on 17th Avenue S.W. on Tuesday. Photo by Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia

Alberta’s premier announced the province is taking a step back on Tuesday by reintroducing restrictions to restaurants, fitness centres and retail due to spiking variant cases and hospitalizations.

Starting at midnight, retail stores’ capacity will be once again limited to 15 per cent, indoor fitness will close for drop-in fitness and return to individual one-on-one training, and adult performance will no longer be permitted. Libraries will also be required to close.

Restaurants, pubs and bars will have the rest of the week to prepare for the closure of indoor dining, as new public health measures come into effect Friday at noon. Takeout, curbside pickup and delivery services remain unaffected by the new rules, but outdoor patio dining will also be permitted.

The restrictions on patio dining are the same as they were for indoor dining, which was reopened on Feb. 8. Tables must be two metres apart or separated by a barrier, each table can only have people within the same household or two close contacts for someone living alone, and contact information must be collected from one person at each table for easier contact tracing.

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“The spike that we’re living through is going to send hundreds of Albertans to hospital, and affects many families in a dramatic way,” said Premier Jason Kenney during Tuesday’s press conference.

Read more.


Tuesday

Variants identified in three Calgary high schools as pressure grows to increase restrictions

Ernest Manning High School has confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants.
Ernest Manning High School has confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants. Photo by Dre Kwong/Postmedia

With three Calgary high schools confirming COVID variants in the past three days, the province is being asked to address a status quo that has seen in-class protocols unchanged since September.

Schools were excluded from increased restrictions and closures Tuesday after Premier Jason Kenney announced a move back to Step One protocols, including closed indoor dining and reduced retail capacity.

But since April 3, St. Francis, Ernest Manning and Joane Cardinal Schubert senior high schools have all sent letters home to parents about confirmed COVID variants. All are in outbreak status, with St. Francis still waiting for confirmation of variants from Alberta Health Services.

Read more.


Tuesday

Alberta to return to Step 1 of reopening; everyone in Phase 2B eligible Wednesday

Premier Jason Kenney and Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw.
Premier Jason Kenney and Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw. Photo by Ed Kaiser /Postmedia

Premier Jason Kenney announced a step backward in the province’s reopening on Tuesday as variant cases continue to rise.

He and Health Minister Tyler Shandro joined Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw for the Tuesday afternoon press conference.

Kenney announced the province would return to Step 1 of reopening effective at midnight.

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  • Retail limited to 15 per cent capacity
  • Personal fitness back to one-on-one training only with trainer
  • Libraries to close as well
  • Starting Friday at noon, indoor dining at restaurants will not be allowed; takeout, curbside pickup, delivery services and outdoor patio dining will be allowed

He also announced an expansion of the province’s vaccine rollout.

  • Everyone in Phase 2B will be eligible to book a vaccine appointment on Wednesday
  • Albertans aged 55 to 64 are eligible to book an appointment for the AstraZeneca vaccine

The latest COVID-19 numbers for Alberta:

  • 931 new cases on 9,126 tests
  • 328 in hospital; 76 in ICUs
  • Three deaths; 2,001 total
  • 10,809 active cases; 141,315 recovered
  • 676 new variant cases identified; 42.6% of active cases are variants

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On Thursday last week, Kenney said that the province wouldn’t introduce restrictions to fight the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Tuesday

Canmore Folk Festival cancelled for 2021

There won’t be an in-person Canmore Folk Music Festival for the second year in a row, the festival announced on Tuesday.

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Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, “there’s still too much uncertainty and risk for us to plan a full in-person event,” the festival said in a post on its website.

The festival had planned to run July 31 to Aug. 2 this summer, instead, the festival will look to make plans “to be active in our community in a way that’s safe and meaningful.”

The in-person festival was also cancelled in 2020, but the festival ran a virtual event from Aug. 1-3, 2020.

In town, the Calgary Folk Music Festival has July 22-25 listed as dates for its 2021 festival on its website, but is currently not selling tickets to this year’s festival and has made no announcements as to any performers. The Calgary Folk Fest cancelled its 2020 in-person event on April 23, 2020 — the same day the Calgary Stampede announced it was cancelling its 2020 event. Instead, a virtual Calgary Folk Music Festival at Home took place during the dates originally scheduled for the in-person festival.


Tuesday

COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths in Alberta

Rockyview General Hospital in Calgary on Monday, April 5, 2021.
Rockyview General Hospital in Calgary on Monday, April 5, 2021. Photo by Christopher Landry/Postmedia

Tuesday

Bow Cycle, Tool Shed Brewing and The Backlot temporarily close

Bow Cycle, Tool Shed Brewing and The Backlot are temporarily closing due to COVID-19 concerns.

Bow Cycle is temporarily closing “due to COVID concerns,” the store announced on social media Tuesday.

“Due to COVID concerns, we will be closed for the next few days to find out our next steps,” read a tweet from Bow Cycle. “Stay tune (sic) for more information.”

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The store said that the webstore is still running, but pickups will be delayed.

Tool Shed Brewing announced on social media on Monday that it had hosted a customer who tested positive for COVID-19. The taproom is temporarily closing for sanitization and for staff to have the chance to get tested.

The customer was at the taproom from 2-8 p.m. on April 1 and 6-8 p.m. on April 3.

“We are confident that the measures we’ve had in place have protected our patrons but know that we are taking this very seriously and will not reopen until we are confident that it is safe to do so,” Tool Shed said in a Facebook post.

Tool Shed said in a Tuesday Facebook post that affected customers have been informed through contact tracing and the brewery plans to reopen tomorrow.

However, later in the afternoon Premier Jason Kenney announced the province was returning to Step 1 of reopening and that indoor dining in restaurants will not be allowed starting at noon on Friday.

The Backlot also announced a temporarily closure on Tuesday on social media. The bar said that a customer who was at the bar on April 3 had tested positive for COVID-19 and it will close temporarily for a deep clean and for staff to get tested.


Tuesday

‘Extremely frustrating’: Edson mayor raises concerns after not being told about COVID-19 variant outbreak in community

Shauna Mondin, nursing student, gives COVID-19 rapid tests at Bow View manor in Calgary, Alberta on March 1, 2021.
Shauna Mondin, nursing student, gives COVID-19 rapid tests at Bow View manor in Calgary, Alberta on March 1, 2021. Photo by Leah Hennel /Leah Hennel

Edson Mayor Kevin Zahara said he should have been told over the long weekend that the outbreak was in his community.

“Of course, we saw that tweet that came out on Saturday, not everybody’s on Twitter, I found that really concerning that tweet was sent out saying, Oh, we have a serious situation, but we’re not going to provide you with any details,” said Zahara Tuesday. “Three days after the fact and I’m learning about this in the media was extremely frustrating.”

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