Share via email

Breadcrumb Trail Links

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

Publishing date:

Feb 11, 2022  •  53 minutes ago  •  12 minute read  •  Join the conversation Calgary Flames fans were happy concession stands opened up as the Flames hosted the Vegas Golden Knights at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Wednesday, February 9, 2022. Calgary Flames fans were happy concession stands opened up as the Flames hosted the Vegas Golden Knights at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Wednesday, February 9, 2022. Photo by Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia

Article content

What’s happening now

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

Help us tell the COVID-19 story in Calgary

Just when it seemed like things were getting back to normal, Omicron has changed everything. We’d like to hear from you on this latest wave of the virus.

  • Have you or your business been affected by the blockade at the Coutts border crossing?
  • If you are a health care worker, how does Omicron compare with past COVID-19 waves?
  • How have you coped with testing requirements and rapid test kits?
  • Is your employer or school asking for a written doctor’s note in place of a provincial PCR test?
  • Are you having a difficult time proving you had COVID-19?

Contact us by sending an email to [email protected] or send your comments via this form.

Calgary’s Ship & Anchor Pub keeping vax passports until March 1

Knowing we have immunocompromised patrons and staff we felt it important to provide advance notice before removing the REP
There is no clear path through this and we sincerely appreciate the overwhelming support we have received while we try to find our way pic.twitter.com/b8zpy6tjIK

— Ship & Anchor Pub (@Ship_and_Anchor) February 11, 2022

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

The province of Alberta already announced an end to its vaccine passport program, but one Calgary establishment is planning to keep it in place at least a little bit longer.

The Ship and Anchor Pub says that while it believes transitioning to an endemic response is a reasonable step, it plans to proceed cautiously and keep the Restrictions Exemption Program (REP) in effect until at least March 1.

“Given that we were provided less than 24 hours notice to respond to recent changes, we chose to pause and take the opportunity to discuss how we move forward, assess the comfort levels of staff, and make operational adjustments accordingly,” read a post on the pub’s social media accounts.

The pub says it will stop using the REP as long as COVID numbers do not rise in the interim.

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

‘It’s time to go home’: Trudeau says border blockades must stop

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said this morning that the blockades at the border are unlawful and must stop.

The PM said politicians do not direct police in a democratic society, but he said RCMP are working on a solution.

“I can’t say too much more now as to when and how this ends because unfortunately we are concerned about violence,” said Trudeau.

He said the absolute safest way for this to end is for people to go home.

“It’s time to go home. Especially if you have kids with you.” he said.

Ford declares state of emergency, promises heavy fines for protesters in Ottawa, Windsor

A line of trucks waits for the road to the Ambassador Bridge to reopen after the cross-border bridge was blocked Monday night by anti-mandate protesters. A line of trucks waits for the road to the Ambassador Bridge to reopen after the cross-border bridge was blocked Monday night by anti-mandate protesters. Photo by Geoff Robins / AFP

Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency in Ontario Friday and pledged new resources for police and new penalties for protesters blocking streets in Ottawa and the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor.

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

At a morning press conference, Ford said he understands people are tired of the pandemic and ready to move on, but the blockade of the Ambassador Bridge is costing the economy millions of dollars a day and leading to job losses at manufacturing plants.

“While I appreciate the right to protest, that right cannot, it must not extend to cutting off that lifeline,” Ford said.

Read more.

Canada close to removing mandatory COVID testing for fully vaxxed travellers: sources

Travellers make their way to the check-in are at Toronto Pearson International Airport Terminal 1 during the Covid 19 pandemic in Toronto, Wednesday December 15, 2021. Travellers make their way to the check-in are at Toronto Pearson International Airport Terminal 1 during the Covid 19 pandemic in Toronto, Wednesday December 15, 2021. Photo by Peter J Thompson /National Post

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos says the federal government will announce changes to COVID-19 measures at Canada’s borders next week.

On Friday, CBC News reported the government is close to removing mandatory PCR COVID testing for Canadians who are fully vaccinated and who travel outside the country.

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

Currently, the government advises against all non-essential international travel.

Anyone travelling within Canada by plane, passenger train or boat must be vaccinated against COVID-19, and international travellers are subject to COVID-19 test requirements.

Read more.

Endemic vs. pandemic: What it means to ‘learn to live with’ COVID-19

More public health officials are saying it’s time to learn to live with COVID-19 — but what does that mean? More public health officials are saying it’s time to learn to live with COVID-19 — but what does that mean? Photo by Peter J Thompson /National Post

Endemic is a slippery term, said infectious diseases historian Esyllt Jones. It’s meant to imply that a pathogen has become stable and predictable, less whirlwind, which isn’t a great way to describe where we’re at with SARS-CoV-2, Jones said.

What it doesn’t necessarily mean is less virulent, or “very low” or “not a problem.” And while Spain and other countries are pivoting to the “flu-ization” of COVID, it’s not clear yet whether SARS-CoV-2 will become flu-like, because it hasn’t yet settled into a seasonal niche and has been spreading among humans for only two years, said Ross Upshur, of the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health.

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

The virus is still evolving, it’s not clear where it’s headed, and it likely has plenty of genetic space to explore. Omicron came out of nowhere, and though it has been linked with “milder” infections, “There is nothing in evolutionary biology that necessitates the disease becoming milder as it passes through humans,” Upshur said.

Read more.

Thursday

Leading indicators show now is the right time for Alberta to reduce restrictions, says health minister

Health Minister Jason Copping. Health Minister Jason Copping. Photo by Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia

Alberta’s health minister defended the timing of his province’s plan to remove public health measures related to COVID-19 as hospitalizations decreased Thursday.

Health Minister Jason Copping said many leading indicators show the number of COVID-19 patients in hospital will continue to drop in the province and that Alberta has passed the peak of the Omicron wave. He said based on these downward trends, now is the right time to move forward with loosening restrictions, limiting their impacts on Albertans.

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

“For more than two weeks we’ve actually seen new hospitalizations dropping like a rock and so we know that the actual in-hospitals is also going to follow that trend. So our approach, generally, is we try to manage this so that we put the measures in place that are required because each measure that we put in place has a cost,” said Copping. “We try to put them in place when necessary and then reduce them as soon as we are able to.”

Read more.

Thursday

Headaches grow for trucking sector as Coutts blockade hits 13 days

Trucks at the Coutts border crossing on Feb. 3, 2022. Trucks at the Coutts border crossing on Feb. 3, 2022. Photo by Darren Makowichuk /Postmedia

Murray Mullen does not see a difference between the unlawful blockade at Coutts and other blockades of recent memory. To him, they all amount to a disruption of service.

The CEO of Mullen Group made the comments during the Okotoks-based trucking company’s Q4 earnings call on Thursday morning, as the demonstration at Alberta’s most important border crossing hit 13 days. There has been no movement at the border since Tuesday at 8 p.m. when protesters completely blocked off all traffic flow once again.

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

“Well, it’s been a pain. There’s no doubt about it,” he said. “But as I said, we’ve endured many, many blockades over the last bit. In the fourth quarter, we endured the floods blockades, you couldn’t get through the road … This one is man-made so it’s a disruption and you have to work around it and costs are going up.”

Read more.

Thursday

Students could be split on masking up, as UCP goes after teachers for safety concerns

Alberta Teachers’ Association president Jason Schilling. Alberta Teachers’ Association president Jason Schilling. Photo by Shaughn Butts /Postmedia, file

The UCP government is attacking teachers for raising safety concerns and exploring their legal options around unsafe workplaces and classrooms if students are not masked.

With schools still receiving some of the 16 million masks shipped out by the UCP to reduce COVID transmission, teachers and parents were caught off guard this week when Premier Jason Kenney announced K-12 students would no longer be required to wear masks in schools starting next Monday.

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

The Alberta Teachers’ Association met with over 500 members in the Central North Thursday, discussing government policy and how teachers were caught off guard by the speed at which the UCP changed its tune on the importance of masking.

Read more.

Thursday

As Omicron wave declines, COVID-19 spread remains high in parts of rural Alberta

Dr. Jon Meddings, Dean of the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary, on Wednesday, May 22, 2019. Dr. Jon Meddings, Dean of the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary, on Wednesday, May 22, 2019. Photo by Gavin Young /Postmedia

Wastewater and active case data show COVID-19 spread is on the downslope in Calgary and Edmonton.

But it’s a different story in much of rural Alberta, where infections continue to surge as the province moves to ditch public health measures.

The best indicator of community transmission of the virus currently available in Alberta is wastewater data, according to Dr. Jon Meddings, Dean of the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary.

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

He said Alberta’s two big cities, as well as other communities including Banff, saw virus spread peak in early January. Medium-sized cities such as Lethbridge and Red Deer saw a peak around the end of January, while rural municipalities such as Lacombe continue to see an increase in virus spread.

Read more.

Thursday

Alberta reports 22 more deaths since yesterday

Here are today’s COVID-19 numbers released by Alberta Health:

  • The province is reporting 1,363 new COVID-19 cases, from 4,986 tests completed.
  • There are 1,586 people in hospital with COVID-19, a decrease of 29 since yesterday. There are 126 people in ICU, a decrease of nine since yesterday.
  • There were another 22 COVID-related deaths reported to Alberta Health Services, bringing the total to 3,718 since the start of the pandemic. There have been 399 deaths since Jan. 1.
  • There are 25,339 recorded active infections in the province, a decrease of 1,557 since yesterday. The Calgary zone has 39 per cent of active cases in the province, reporting a total of 9,930 active cases.
  • Alberta’s two-dose vaccination rate for the population age 12 and over is 86.3 per cent.

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

Thursday

UCP tells post-secondaries to return to in-person learning with no mask or vaccine requirements

Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides. Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides. Photo by Gavin Young /Postmedia, file

Alberta’s minister in charge of post-secondaries is telling Alberta’s universities and colleges he expects in-person classes to resume next month without masking or proof-of-vaccination requirements.

Post-secondary institutions should match their COVID-19 policies with those of the United Conservative government, Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides said in a letter to schools. The province announced earlier this week it plans to remove nearly all public-health measures against COVID-19 by March 1.

“It is my expectation that all of Alberta’s universities, colleges and polytechnics will align their COVID-19 policies and practices with that of Alberta’s Government,” Nicolaides said in the letter, posted to his Twitter account yesterday afternoon.

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

Read more.

Thursday

Blood Tribe to keep safety measures in place

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

The Kainai nation is choosing to keep many COVID-19 safety protocols in place until further notice.

The Blood Tribe Emergency Management Team posted its decision to Twitter yesteday. The decision was in response to the province’s announcement that restrictions would be rolled back in the coming days and weeks.

“The health and well-being of our Blood Tribe members is of the utmost importance; therefore, we will continue to review the Blood Tribe’s enhanced safety measures on an ongoing basis, under the guidance of our heath professionals.

Thursday

Ontario freezes $8 million from online fundraiser bound for truckers

A police officer climbs into the passenger seat of a honking truck in Ottawa on Thursday. A police officer climbs into the passenger seat of a honking truck in Ottawa on Thursday. Photo by David Kawai / Bloomberg

The Ontario government has moved to freeze $8 million going to the crippling trucker blockades in Windsor and Ottawa as local leaders continue to ask for help from all levels of government to end the protests.

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

Late Thursday, Premier Doug Ford’s government announced they had obtained a court order freezing the funds raised through GiveSendGo, an online fundraising platform that the truckers turned to when GoFundMe closed a previous effort. The GiveSendGo page indicated more than $8 million had been raised through the platform, but the protest convoy was also raising money through private transfers and through cryptocurrency.

Ottawa’s core has been blockaded for nearly two weeks by transport trucks and smaller vehicles that have parked and set up camp on downtown streets.

Read more.

Thursday

Alberta family misses chance to say goodbye to dying mother because of border protest

A truck convoy of anti-COVID-19 vaccine mandate demonstrators block the highway at the busy U.S. border crossing in Coutts, Alta., on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022. A truck convoy of anti-COVID-19 vaccine mandate demonstrators block the highway at the busy U.S. border crossing in Coutts, Alta., on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022. Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

COUTTS, Alta. — A woman says her family members couldn’t say goodbye to their dying mother because of protesters blocking the main U.S. border crossing in southern Alberta.

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

Megan Allan of Medicine Hat, Alta., said her aunts tried to come back to the province from Arizona when their 94-year-old mother’s health took a turn for the worse.

They booked the soonest flight to Great Falls, Mont., with plans to pick up their vehicle and drive north through the Coutts border crossing, said Allan. On Jan. 31, the blockade forced them to drive to another entry point that opened at 8 a.m. the following day.

Their mother died earlier that morning.

“They would have made it if they could have gone through (Coutts),” said Allan, just before wiping a tear from her cheek.

“I understand that the truckers’ message is to be about freedom but their protest affected my family’s freedom and my aunts will never get the chance to say goodbye.”

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

Read more.

Thursday

U.S. urges Canada to use federal powers to ease border protest disruption

Border crossing booths remain closed as protesters and supporters set up a blockade at the foot of the Ambassador Bridge, sealing off the flow of commercial traffic over the bridge into Canada from Detroit, on February 10, 2022 in Windsor, Canada. Border crossing booths remain closed as protesters and supporters set up a blockade at the foot of the Ambassador Bridge, sealing off the flow of commercial traffic over the bridge into Canada from Detroit, on February 10, 2022 in Windsor, Canada. Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images

WINDSOR — Canada should use federal powers to ease the growing economic disruption caused by the blockage of a vital U.S.-Canada trade route by protesters opposed to coronavirus mandates, U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration said on Thursday.

The closure of the Ambassador Bridge, North America’s busiest international land border crossing and a vital supply route for Detroit’s carmakers, has halted some auto output and left officials scrambling to limit economic damage.

Read more.

Thursday

New border blockade started in Manitoba

A demonstration involving a large number of vehicles & farm equipment is blocking the Emerson Port of Entry. No traffic is getting through either northbound or southbound. The Port of Entry is shut down. Please avoid the area. #rcmpmb is on scene. pic.twitter.com/SpKzwzMfKZ

— RCMP Manitoba (@rcmpmb) February 10, 2022

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

Another province is dealing with a blockade at one of its U.S. border crossings.

Protesters in Manitoba are using vehicles and farm equipment to block the crossing at the Emerson Port of Entry.

A protest at the Coutts border crossing is continuing, although traffic is getting through. Protesters have also been blocking traffic at the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Windsor.

Thursday

Boost rapid test reliability by doing oral and nasal swabbing, experts say

A healthcare worker collects a swab from Bronwen Cook for a PCR test against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) before traveling to London, at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, November 26, 2021. REUTERS/ Sumaya Hisham A healthcare worker collects a swab from Bronwen Cook for a PCR test against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) before traveling to London, at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, November 26, 2021. REUTERS/ Sumaya Hisham Photo by SUMAYA HISHAM /REUTERS

Ontario’s expert science advisers say rapid antigen tests don’t detect COVID-19 infections with the Omicron variant as reliably as they did with the Delta strain, but changing the way the tests are performed can boost their sensitivity.

The science advisory table says in a brief today that the rapid tests, which involve nasal swabs, are less sensitive for Omicron, especially in the first one or two days after infection.

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

But, they say the tests are better at detecting Omicron if people swab both cheeks, followed by the back of the tongue or throat, then both nostrils.

Read more.

Thursday

Protest organizer: No intent to topple government … and no plan to leave until COVID mandates lifted

The organizers removed their proposal from their website Wednesday, saying “We do not want any unintended interpretations to continue.” The organizers removed their proposal from their website Wednesday, saying “We do not want any unintended interpretations to continue.” Photo by Spencer Platt / Getty Images

One of the organizers of Freedom Convoy 2022 says protesters aren’t backing down from their demand to have all COVID-19 restrictions lifted across Canada, despite having withdrawn a controversial document that called for a committee of unelected figures to be established to meet that goal.

Since the protest started, one of the stated goals was getting a “memorandum of understanding” (MOU) signed by Canadian citizens. But on Tuesday, organizing group Canada Unity issued a statement to withdraw the MOU that demanded Gov. Gen. Mary Simon and the Senate join with the protesters to force federal and provincial governments to lift all COVID-19 restrictions, including vaccine mandates. The MOU was taken down from the Canada Unity website.

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

Read more.

Thursday

Poll: Nearly 30% of Canadians say it’s time to ‘learn to live’ with COVID-19

Customers enter Local on Stephen Avenue where the signs asking for vaccine proof are still up at the entrance on Wednesday, February 9, 2022 the day after Premier Jason Kenney announced the end of the Restriction Exemption Program in Alberta. Customers enter Local on Stephen Avenue where the signs asking for vaccine proof are still up at the entrance on Wednesday, February 9, 2022 the day after Premier Jason Kenney announced the end of the Restriction Exemption Program in Alberta. Photo by Azin Ghaffari/Postmedia

A new poll suggests almost 30 per cent of Canadians believe it’s time to lift pandemic restrictions and “learn to live” with the COVID-19 virus, while more than 40 per cent want measures to ease carefully.

Forty-three per cent of Canadians surveyed by Leger identified their feelings about the current state of the pandemic as “prudent” — the most popular answer of four options — saying they did not want to lift restrictions too quickly.

But 29 per cent said they were ready to move on, selecting the answer that said they were “adequately vaccinated” and viewed the Omicron variant as “less serious.”

Respondents from Alberta were the most opposed to mandates, with 24 per cent saying they were angry about the current state of the pandemic.

Read more.

Share this article in your social network

Advertisement

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

By clicking on the sign up button you consent to receive the above newsletter from Postmedia Network Inc. You may unsubscribe any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of our emails. Postmedia Network Inc. | 365 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3L4 | 416-383-2300

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.