Follow this story for COVID-19 news in Calgary throughout the day.

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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.


What’s happening now

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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. Are you quarantining due to being exposed to the variant? Have you received your vaccine, and if so did you feel any side effects? Send us an email at [email protected] to tell us your experience, or send us a message via this form.

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



Frustrated with government efforts, business groups push plan to avoid lockdowns

A Closed sign is taped to the door of a salon in Kensington. Stats show that Canada has lost nearly 2million jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Friday, May 8, 2020. Dean Pilling/Postmedia
A closed storefront in Kensington in Calgary on May 8, 2020. Dean Piling/Postmedia

Frustrations with government efforts to manage the COVID-19 pandemic has led major businesses in this country to decide to take some matters into their own hands to avoid further lockdowns.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce unveiled on Tuesday an advisory group of 20 chief and senior executives to help businesses large and small manage their operations through restrictions and public health concerns.

Among the group are the presidents of vaccine-makers Pfizer Canada and Providence Therapeutics, as well as executives from Shoppers Drug Mart, WestJet and BlackBerry.

Read more.


Poll finds most Canadians blame federal government for vaccine delays

Amanda Parsons, a registered nurse at the Northwood Care facility in Halifax, gives a dose of the Moderna vaccine to Ann Hicks, 77, on Jan. 11, 2021. Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

The vast majority of Canadians blame Ottawa rather than provincial governments for delays in COVID-19 vaccine delivery, a new poll suggests.

Sixty-nine per cent of respondents believe Canada is behind on deliveries due to federal challenges obtaining doses on the global market, according to an online survey by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies.

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Only 14 per cent of respondents point the finger at provincial governments.

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It’s only ‘the end of the beginning.’ COVID-19 will be with us for years

What will a post-COVID world look like? Photo by John Mahoney/Postmedia, olm26250/Getty Images/iStockphoto, NP Photo Illustration

Respiratory pandemics come along every few decades. Serious ones, every 50 or 100 years. And while the way we have come to live may seem so alien and unnatural, plagues have been “a part of our story for a very long time,” Dr. Nicholas Christakis writes in his new book on this newest plague.

Since the birth of our species, “humans have had countless plagues. We’ve been shaped by those plagues, but then life returns to normal,” the Yale University physician and social scientist said in an interview. All crises have a beginning and end, and we will see the other side of COVID-19, he said, though perhaps not as soon as we hoped. And what, then? How will our lives have changed after the COVID tsunami washes back?

Read more.


Hospitalizations and deaths in Alberta

The South Health Campus in Calgary on Nov. 12. Photo by Brendan Miller/Postmedia


Police defend handshake with anti-masker as end to peaceful negotiation at Chinook Centre

Police escort anti-mask protestors through Chinook Mall Saturday afternoon in Calgary on Saturday, February 13, 2021. Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia
Police attempt to disperse anti-mask protestors at Chinook Centre Saturday afternoon. Photo by Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia

Calgary police say a handshake between an officer and anti-mask protester caught on video at Chinook Centre during a rally Saturday was the end to peaceful negotiations with the crowd.

The video circulating on social media shows a Calgary police officer shaking hands with one of the unmasked protesters at the mall. The officer leans in close to the protester, who is an organizer of the Walk for Freedom rallies, as they shake hands and the two converse while a nearby protester speaks through a megaphone.

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COVID-19 developments across Canada on Tuesday

Restaurants in Winnipeg opened under new COVID-19 restrictions on the weekend. Photo by Chris Procaylo/Postmedia

Manitoba is reporting 166 additional COVID-19 cases over the last two days and four deaths. Seven cases from a First Nations community that were identified as potential cases of the United Kingdom variant have turned out not to be, after sequencing.

Nunavut is reporting five new cases of COVID-19 today. All of the new cases are in Arviat, a community of about 2,800 on western Hudson Bay. There are 23 active cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut, all in Arviat, and 299 total recovered cases.

Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting seven new confirmed cases of COVID-19 today. All of the latest cases were found in the area including St. John’s, which has been at the centre of a recent COVID-19 surge in the province. Newfoundland and Labrador now has 297 active cases of COVID-19.

Canada’svaccine rollout is ramping back up with more than 878,000 more Pfizer-BioNTech doses expected in the next two weeks after faltering shipments attributed to production delays abroad. Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to decline across the country despite an alarming flare-up of more contagious variants of the virus.

Ontario is reporting 904 new cases today, and 964 cases that were not reported on the Family Day holiday. Twenty-six deaths were reported over the last two days. There were 742 people hospitalized with COVID-19 as of this morning, including 292 in intensive care and 201 on ventilators.

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Quebec is reporting 669 new cases of COVID-19 and 20 more deaths, including six in the past 24 hours. Hospitalizations dropped by 33, to 771, and 134 people were in intensive care.


Elise Stolte: Countering vaccine hesitancy with honesty, respect and the facts

Bill Goodwin celebrates receiving his second COVID-19 vaccination at Benevolence Care Centre in Edmonton, on Feb. 11, 2021.

Edmonton Journal columnist Elsie Stolte writes:

Eight hours after getting his second dose of COVID-19 vaccine, Dr. Walter Mair was in bed with the chills.

Twenty-four hours after the shot, a “nasty headache” and exhaustion sent him back to bed again. When a good friend called and heard about Mair’s side effects, he was so taken aback he mused “Well, maybe I shouldn’t get it.”

But Mair called him right back. “I said: ‘You need to get it. OK? For 48, 72 hours at most, you might have symptoms. It’s not a big deal. You’ve just got to put up with it.’ … If you really had COVID, it would be magnified 10 times or more.”

Mair, 69, got some of the worst of the side effects. But even he fully recovered within 48 hours. He’s speaking up to help address vaccine hesitancy, which in the long run could be a bigger problem than the drug shortages and slow rollout that dominated the news of late.

Read more.



Edmonton biotechnology company hopeful its COVID-19 vaccine will continue along approval process

A pharmacist holds vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Photo by Yuki Iwamura/Reuters

An Edmonton biotechnology company is waiting to start the next phase of its COVID-19 vaccine approval after the federal government announced tens of millions of dollars to support vaccine production.

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Entos Pharmaceuticals CEO Dr. John Lewis said his company is currently working on two DNA vaccines. Entos has sent one of those vaccines to a lab in Ottawa where it will, in turn, be sent to Halifax, to start Phase 1 of the approval process for public use.

“We decided to select DNA because DNA is much more stable. Our DNA formulations are stable in the refrigerator for a year or at room temperature for a month,” said Lewis.

Lewis said his company had requested $49 million for its vaccine development from the federal government last March. In August, it received $5 million from the National Research Council of Canada Industiral Research Assistance Program to help get its vaccine to Phase 1. It also received $4.2 million from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research rapid research funding competition.

Read more.


Olymel pork plant in Red Deer temporarily closing as COVID-19 outbreak grows

Olymel employees work in one of the companyÕs Quebec hog-slaughtering plants in Yamachiche, Quebec, Canada in July 2020. Picture taken in July 2020. Courtesy of Olymel/Handout via REUTERS.  NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. ORG XMIT: HFS-TOR512
Olymel employees work in one of the company’s hog-slaughtering plant in Yamachiche, Que. Photo by OLYMEL /via REUTERS

A pork plant in Red Deer is temporarily closing production due to an outbreak of COVID-19 that has resulted in more than 300 cases and the death of a worker.

The Quebec-based company Olymel announced Monday evening it would be temporarily closing its pork plant in Red Deer for an “indefinite period” because of the growing outbreak. The pork plant has been linked to 326 cases of COVID-19, as of Monday, with 192 active and many others in isolation due to close contact.

Read More. 


Monday

Alberta long-term care group lobby government for bill to protect against COVID-19 lawsuits

Pictured is McKenzie Towne Care Centre on Monday, April 6, 2020. Photo by Azin Ghaffari /Postmedia

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A group representing Alberta continuing-care operators is asking government to introduce legislation that would protect them against lawsuits related to COVID-19, according to a filing with the province’s lobbyist registry.

It’s an issue a federal advocacy group says hinges on the ability for continuing-care providers to obtain insurance they need to operate.

Read More.


Monday

Feds expect Pfizer to start ramping up vaccine deliveries to Canada this week

A vial and syringe are seen in front of a displayed Pfizer and Biontech logo in this illustration taken Jan. 11, 2021. Photo by Dado Ruvic / Reuters

Canada’s sluggish COVID-19 vaccination efforts are expected to get a big boost starting this week as the federal government prepares for a ramp up in the delivery of shots from Pfizer-BioNTech following a month-long lull.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has stated on its website that it expects more than 335,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to be delivered this week, though the company says the figure will be closer to 400,000.

Read More. 


Sunday

Sixth Alberta health-care worker dies from COVID-19; province reports 284 new cases

Walkers bundled up to stay warm while walking along the Bow River pathway as the extreme cold continued in Calgary on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021. Photo by Gavin Young/Postmedia

A sixth health-care worker has died from COVID-19 in Alberta, as the province reports 284 new cases and five deaths on Sunday.

One of the four deaths listed in the Edmonton zone was a health-care worker at a continuing-care facility. The continuing-care worker was a man in his 50s with comorbidities, Alberta Health said.

He is the sixth health-care worker to have died from COVID-19 in Alberta. All six of these deaths have occurred within the last several weeks.

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The 284 new cases of COVID-19 detected Sunday came from 7,972 completed tests for a positivity rate of about 3.6 per cent. This was lower than the 3.8 per cent positivity rate on Saturday, and brings the total number of active cases in Alberta to 5,215 — only 56 fewer than the day prior.

Read more.


Sunday

Newfoundland, battered by COVID-19 variant, warns workers of virus outbreaks at 11 Alberta oilsands sites

Suncor’s base plant with upgraders in the oilsands in Fort McMurray, Alberta, on Monday June 13, 2017. Photo by Jason Franson/The Canadian Press

A recent surge in COVID-19 cases that has thrown life in Newfoundland and Labrador into chaos could have links to nearly a dozen Alberta oilsands operations, according to the Maritime province’s outbreak list.

The province is warning rotational workers at 13 out-of-province sites about confirmed COVID-19 outbreaks at workplaces, with all but two in the Alberta oilsands. The list includes outbreaks at the Suncor Base Plant, Syncrude Mildred Lake and Canadian Natural Resources Albian Sands, which have each seen more than 125 cases.

In total, the 11 sites have seen a combined 891 cases, but only nine of those infections remain active.

In discussing the province’s restrictions on returning rotational workers at a press conference Saturday, Newfoundland and Labrador chief medical officer of health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald said additional precautions must be taken for those returning from these worksites.

Read more.


Sunday

GraceLife Church of Edmonton defies closure order, holds in-person service after pastor charged by RCMP

Two men keep unwelcome visitors from entering the property at GraceLife Church in Parkland County, just east of Edmonton, on Sunday February 7, 2021. The church has defied government pandemic restrictions multiple times and held a church service on this day. Photo by Larry Wong /Postmedia

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A Parkland County church continued to allow people into their morning service today after weeks of defying public health orders and recently having a pastor arrested for his role in past gatherings.

Dozens of vehicles were seen in the parking lot of Gracelife Church of Edmonton, located three kilometres west of the city limit on Highway 627 east of Highway 60, prior to the weekly Sunday service. A check stop was set-up at the entrance to the church and several vehicles were seen passing through shortly before 10:30 a.m.

Two ‘no visitors allowed’ signs were seen at the entrance to the parking lot outside the check stop. Postmedia was told to stand off the property and was referred to the church’s website after asking for comment from workers.

Read more.


Sunday

Manitoba First Nation waits for lab to confirm whether seven cases are U.K. variant

Members of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s 450 Tactical Helicopter Squadron unload a CH147F Chinook helicopter as part of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) relief efforts, upon arrival in Pauingassi First Nation, Manitoba, Canada Feb. 6, 2021 Photo by Capt Aaron Stafrace/RCAF/Handout via REUTERS

PAUINGASSI FIRST NATION, MAN. — A northern Manitoba First Nation was waiting for confirmation Sunday from the National Microbiology Lab on whether multiple COVID-19 cases in the community are a contagious variant first discovered in the U.K.

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs said in a news release late Saturday that public health officials found seven probable cases of the contagious variant of COVID-19 in Pauingassi First Nation.

The release said the samples were screened at the Cadham Provincial Lab and have since been sent to the national lab in Winnipeg for genomic sequencing, which will confirm whether or they are cases of the British variant.

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“This is clearly a very serious situation that continues to evolve and change,” Pauingassi Chief Roddy Owens said in the release.

Read more.


Sunday

Ontario plans to expand vaccination as COVID cases stabilize in several provinces

Pharmacy staff at Kingston Health Sciences Centre prepare the first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for southeastern Ontario on Jan. 12, 2021. Photo by Matthew Manor/KHSC

Ontario unveiled plans to expand its COVID-19 vaccination rollout to more target groups on Sunday ahead of an expected boost in nationwide shipments of the Pfizer vaccine that could lend ammunition to the provinces’ fights against the spread of contagious variants.

The Ontario government reported Sunday that all long-term care residents across the province had been “given an opportunity” for a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

The province’s vaccine taskforce told regional public health officers in a memo that it is expanding its focus in the coming weeks, with staff and essential caregivers in long-term care homes, top priority health-care workers and Indigenous adults in remote and higher risk communities among those first in line for the vaccine.

Delays in vaccine shipments forced the province to concentrate its inoculation efforts on long-term care residents in recent weeks, but the memo says the province expects those deliveries to increase again, allowing it to expand the scope of its vaccination drive.

“Given the expected gradual increase in Ontario’s vaccine supply, the next target groups within the Phase One priority populations have been identified for vaccination,” the memo read.

Read more.


Sunday

Australia suspends travel ‘bubble’ with New Zealand as Auckland goes into lockdown

Motorists queue at the Otara testing station after a positive COVID-19 coronavirus case was reported in the community as the city enters a level 3 lockdown in Auckland on February 15, 2021. Photo by DAVID ROWLAND/AFP via Getty Images

WELLINGTON — Australia has suspended quarantine-free travel with neighboring New Zealand after three new community cases of COVID-19 were detected in Auckland over the weekend.

New Zealand said on Sunday it was locking down its largest city after new cases emerged in the country, which has been credited with virtually eliminating the virus within its borders.

Read more.

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