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Canada COVID-19 Update: Alberta reaches 500 deaths | 1,265 new cases | Calgary declares local state of emergency

18:05  26 november  2020
18:05  26 november  2020 Source:   calgaryherald.com

Canada’s coronavirus cases exceed 300,000

  Canada’s coronavirus cases exceed 300,000 It comes just shy of a month after Canada hit 200,000 cases nationally. Read more: Tam says Canada on track for 10K daily coronavirus cases Ontario and Quebec -- Canada's long-standing coronavirus hotspots -- both recorded significant case counts on Monday, despite seeing declines in daily tallies on Sunday. Ontario reported 1,487 new confirmed cases, along with 10 additional deaths. Quebec reported 1,218 cases and 25 deaths.

a person talking on a cell phone: Brooke Stoilen walks to City Hall as Calgary declared a local state of emergency in on Wednesday, November 25, 2020. © Provided by Calgary Herald Brooke Stoilen walks to City Hall as Calgary declared a local state of emergency in on Wednesday, November 25, 2020.

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

  • The province reported 1,265 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and nine new deaths. Alberta reached the tragic milestone of 500 deaths.
  • Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Wednesday the province is readying 400 more ICU beds to handle the expected growth in serious infections.
  • Calgary restored its local state of emergency on Wednesday.
  • Premier Jason Kenney declared a state of public health emergency while announcing new mandatory restrictions on social gatherings, worship services, businesses and schools.
  • Students in grades 7 to 12 will move to online learning on Nov. 30 as part of changes to the school calendar to help limit the spread of the virus.
  • AstraZeneca said on Monday its COVID-19 vaccine could be around 90 per cent effective, giving the world’s fight against the global pandemic a new weapon, cheaper to make, easier to distribute and faster to scale-up than rivals.

How have you been impacted by COVID-19?

Postmedia is looking to speak with people who may have been impacted by the growing second wave of COVID-19 here in Alberta. Do you have a family member affected by a long term care outbreak? Are you having trouble meeting work obligations due to school shutdowns? Send us an email at reply@calgaryherald.com to tell us your experience, or send us a message via this form .

Coronavirus live updates: Quebec reports 982 new cases, 24 deaths as hospitalizations soar

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Chris Selley: Will unvaccinated Canadians finally hold their governments to account?

a group of people standing next to a truck:  Employees bottle a potential COVID vaccine in Germany. It seems Canadians are nowhere near the front of the line for COVID-19 vaccines. © Hendrik Schmidt-Pool/Getty Images Employees bottle a potential COVID vaccine in Germany. It seems Canadians are nowhere near the front of the line for COVID-19 vaccines.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is quite obviously softening Canadians up for a blow: As early as next month, and for several months thereafter, they are likely to see millions of people around the world being vaccinated against COVID-19. And for quite a while, none of them will be Canadian.

“One of the things to remember is Canada no longer has any domestic production capacity for vaccines,” Trudeau said at his Tuesday news conference. “Countries like the United States, Germany and the U.K. do have domestic pharmaceutical facilities, which is why they’re obviously going to prioritize helping their citizens first.”

COVID-19 Update: Trudeau to address Canadians this morning | 1,105 new cases, eight deaths | STARS transporting more COVID patients

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America celebrates scaled-back Thanksgiving as COVID-19 surges

a bowl filled with different types of food on a table:  Americans have been urged to curtail their family gatherings in the wake of COVID-19. © Getty Images Americans have been urged to curtail their family gatherings in the wake of COVID-19.

Americans awoke on Thursday to celebrate a Thanksgiving Day transformed by the coronavirus pandemic, with the Macy’s parade limited to a television-only event and many families resigned to meeting on video for turkey dinner.

Thanksgiving, normally a day for family and friends to gather in big numbers to feast and remember life’s blessings, has been upended by the pandemic, with cases and deaths surging in recent weeks as cooler temperatures push people indoors where the virus spreads more easily.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, a spectacle of giant character balloons that has delighted children for nearly a century, has been scaled back significantly. The route is a block long, rather than 2.5 miles; balloon handlers have been replaced by specially rigged vehicles; and spectators will not be allowed to line the streets as before.

Hundreds of Alberta doctors sign 3rd letter urging lockdown

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Read more .

Town of Banff declares state of local emergency

a group of people walking down a street:  Visitors wait in long lineups outside The Spirit of Christmas shop on Banff Avenue on Saturday, Nov. 21. © Marie Conboy/ Postmedia Visitors wait in long lineups outside The Spirit of Christmas shop on Banff Avenue on Saturday, Nov. 21.

After a lengthy special meeting of town council, the Town of Banff declared a state of local emergency on Wednesday evening.

“In times of crisis, you need to take extraordinary measures – and this is certainly a dire situation for the people of Banff,” said Mayor Karen Sorensen. “Our region – Banff and Lake Louise – has the second-highest number of cases per capita in Alberta.”

The mayor said declaring a state of local emergency will allow the town to reallocate resources and be more nimble in its response to a rapidly changing situation.

It will also signal to visitors that the risk of transmission has increased in the small town.

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“For visitors, they need to be aware of the high risk of transmission here,” said Sorensen. “For residents and businesses, they need to know we are here for them, but we also need them to double-down on the measures that will stamp out COVID in Banff.”

Town officials are still in discussions about making changes to the mandatory mask bylaw, and limiting operating hours of restaurants, liquor stores and cannabis shops. The town may also limit restaurant occupancy. More details are expected on Nov. 30.

27 Calgary schools on ‘watch’ with five or more cases

a train is parked on the side of a snow covered street:  St. Francis High School on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. The school is dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak. © Provided by Calgary Herald St. Francis High School on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. The school is dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak.

There are 27 Calgary schools currently under the province’s “watch” status with five or more cases of COVID-19, according to the government’s COVID-19 school status map .

As older students prepare to move to online learning at the end of the month as part of the government’s measures to reduce the spread of the virus announced on Tuesday, 18 of the Calgary schools under “watch” are junior high or high schools, while three are middle schools that teach kids up to Grade 9, one is a K-12 school and only five of the schools under “watch” are elementary schools.

Of the 37 Calgary schools on outbreak with two to four cases, only 12 are exclusively elementary schools, while the remaining 25 include some students in grades 7 to 12.

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Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Wednesday that there are active alerts or outbreaks in 15 per cent of schools in Alberta with 1,207 active cases of COVID-19 in those schools.

She said of those schools, 179 are dealing with outbreaks of two or more cases and 71 are on the province’s “watch” list with five or more cases.

Hinshaw took time to thank parents, guardians, students, teachers and school staff for their efforts during the pandemic.

“I know that there has been a burden on parents this year to keep kids home even with mild illness and to arrange for kids to stay home if an exposure has taken place in their class,” Hinshaw added.

There have been 859 schools in Alberta that have reported at least one case of COVID-19 since the beginning of the school year, according to advocacy group Support Our Students’ COVID-19 tracker , and there have been 563 schools that have reported a case in the last two weeks.

Related: Older students victims of ‘bad planning’ as classrooms close next Monday, says advocate

Wednesday

Stronger COVID-19 restrictions in Alberta not forbidden by the Charter: legal experts

a man standing in front of a building:  Avnish Nanda is a civil rights lawyer in Edmonton. © Ed Kaiser Avnish Nanda is a civil rights lawyer in Edmonton.

Legal experts say Premier Jason Kenney’s suggestion that enacting a full lockdown to stop the spread of COVID-19 would violate Albertans’ Charter rights doesn’t reflect the law.

Eric Adams, professor of law and constitutional expert at the University of Alberta, said Kenney’s comments seemed to inaccurately suggest the Premier’s hands were tied by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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Section 1 — the reasonable limits clause — says the government has the authority to limit rights and freedoms if it is “demonstrably justified.”

Read more .

Wednesday

Alberta doctors not convinced newest restrictions will be effective enough

a woman looking at the camera:  Dr. Lynora Saxinger was one of the more than 400 doctors who signed a letter earlier this week calling for temporary mandatory changes to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Alberta. © Shaughn Butts Dr. Lynora Saxinger was one of the more than 400 doctors who signed a letter earlier this week calling for temporary mandatory changes to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Alberta.

Alberta’s newest restrictions aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19 might not be enough given the current surge of infections, concerned doctors said Wednesday.

The severe lack of information about the sources of transmission is one of the greatest reasons for this concern. Without knowing where thousands of new cases are sourced, the government’s restrictions could miss the mark, said Dr. Lynora Saxinger, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Alberta.

Read more .

Wednesday

Restaurants will not police new ‘household only’ dining rules; will leave it to customers to be honest

a man and a woman sitting at a table:  Chad McCormick, owner of Browns Socialhouse, poses for a photo on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. © Azin Ghaffari/Postmedia Chad McCormick, owner of Browns Socialhouse, poses for a photo on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020.

Alberta restaurant owners will not be policing their tables to ensure that all diners are members of the same household, leaving it instead up to diners themselves to be honest and adhere to the latest public-health restrictions.

Those in the industry say restaurant staff cannot be expected to police who patrons come in with, or interrogate diners about their relationship to each other.

“As a restaurateur, it’s not really our place to say ‘who is this person with you?’” said Chad McCormick, who is a partner with the TMAC Pub and Restaurant Group, a family of nine Calgary pubs including the Bank & Baron on Stephen Avenue. “We’re ultimately going to have to lean on everyone coming in to be listening to the Premier and saying ‘it is up to all of us to do this.’ There’s just no other way to do it.”

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Wednesday

City restores local state of emergency as COVID-19 cases rise in Calgary

a man wearing a suit and tie:  Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi speaks to media in Calgary on Tuesday. © Provided by Calgary Herald Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi speaks to media in Calgary on Tuesday.

The City of Calgary has declared a new state of local emergency following public health measures announced Tuesday by the province.

It’s the second time since the pandemic began that the city has taken this step. It last declared a state of emergency in March, which ended in June.

A state of local emergency gives the the head of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency to make orders that are implemented right away. It could also help the city restock pandemic supplies and access funding from other levels of government.

Read more .

Wednesday

Province readies 400 more COVID-19 ICU beds as Alberta death toll reaches 500

a person wearing a blue shirt:  Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw in Edmonton on Nov. 24, 2020. Alberta declared a state of public health emergency and announced new restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19. © Provided by Calgary Herald Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw in Edmonton on Nov. 24, 2020. Alberta declared a state of public health emergency and announced new restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19.

With COVID-19 cases continuing to surge in Alberta and the virus’s death toll hitting 500, the province is readying 400 more ICU beds to handle the expected growth in serious infections, the province’s top doctor said Wednesday.

Alberta hospitals have also now exceeded a benchmark of 70 full acute care COVID-19 beds with 71 such patients — an increase of five over Tuesday.

It’s crossed a threshold “where we’d be crossing into territory where we’d be impacting other patients’ care,” said Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw.

“Unfortunately the way that (extra) space is made available is winding down care for people who can wait a little longer for it,” she said.

Read more .

Wednesday

Alberta hits 500 deaths from COVID-19, reports 1,265 new cases

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, gave an update on the province’s COVID-19 numbers at 3:30 p.m.

  • 1,265 new cases on ~15,600 tests; ~8.1% positivity rate
  • Nine new deaths; 500 total
  • 355 in hospital; 71 in ICU
  • 13,719 active cases
  • Hinshaw said AHS will make more than 2,000 acute care beds and up to 400 ICU beds available to patients with COVID-19
  • Active alerts or outbreaks in 348 schools, 15% of schools in province; 1,207 active cases in these schools
  • 179 schools with outbreaks; 71 on watch list with five or more cases

You can watch the update below.

The 5 major differences between 'Selena: The Series' and the 1997 biopic starring Jennifer Lopez .
While both focused on the life of late Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, there are several key differences between the show and movie.

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