COVID-19 Live Updates: News on coronavirus in Calgary for July 19 | MCUTimes

COVID-19 Live Updates: News on coronavirus in Calgary for July 19

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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What’s happening now

  • A Calgary city councillor says it’s time to make expanded restaurant patios a regular summer feature.
  • Alberta reported 130 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend.
  • Canada’s commitment to open its borders over the next two months is a solid tonic for the local tourism sector but won’t rescue a summer starved of foreign visitors, says the hospitality industry.
  • On Monday, Canada announced it will allow U.S. travellers who are fully-vaccinated across the border starting Aug. 9.
  • AHS is offering no-appointment drop-in clinics in northeast Calgary and Crossfield this Saturday.
  • The Delta variant of COVID-19 is now the dominant strain worldwide, accompanied by a surge of deaths around the United States almost entirely among unvaccinated people, U.S. officials said on Friday.
  • Ontarians returned to gyms, movie theatres and restaurant dining rooms on Friday as the province rolled back more public health restrictions.
  • The military general overseeing the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines across the country says Canada is moving to a “more nuanced” approach as the supply of doses is on the verge of outstripping demand.
  • The federal government says cruise ships will be allowed back in Canadian waters in November, but they must follow public health requirements.
  • COVID-19’s transmission potential in Alberta is on the rise once again after plummeting from the heights of the virus’s third wave.
  • A new COVID-19 vaccine lottery added a selection of outdoor adventure prizes for Albertans who are fully vaccinated by mid-September.

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Alberta reports 130 new COVID-19 cases over weekend

  • Alberta has recorded 130 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend. Two people have died, bringing the provincial death toll to 2,316 people.
  • On Friday, Alberta saw 49 new cases from 5,517 completed tests. On Saturday, there were 43 new cases from 5,358 tests. On Sunday, another 38 new cases were found from 4,345 tests. The positivity rate has risen from 0.68 per cent to 0.82 per cent over three days.
  • According to the data released this afternoon, there are 100 people with COVID-19 in hospital, down from 110 recorded last Thursday. There are 27 people in intensive care.
  • Alberta currently has 605 active cases, up from 579 active cases recorded last Thursday. The Calgary zone continues to have the highest number of active cases in the province with 326, more than double the number of cases recorded in the Edmonton zone.
  • There are 366 active cases in Alberta caused by a variant of concern. On Sunday, 115 additional variant cases were reported.
  • More than five million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in Alberta as of Sunday.
  • The data shows 74.1 per cent of eligible Albertans 12 or older have received at least one dose of a vaccine and 55.3 per cent are fully vaccinated.
  • Last weekend, Alberta recorded 90 new cases of COVID-19 over three days.

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Councillor says expanded patios should be summertime fixture

Patrons enjoy the Without Papers Pizza sidewalk patio in Inglewood on Monday.
Patrons enjoy the Without Papers Pizza sidewalk patio in Inglewood on Monday. Photo by Gavin Young/Postmedia

A Calgary city councillor says it’s time to make expanded restaurant patios a regular summer feature.

The city started giving businesses the option to expedite the process of extending patio space into parking lots and on sidewalks as Alberta’s first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic subsided last year. Permit fees were waived to make the process more accessible, helping eateries and bars seat more people outdoors amid capacity limits and spacing requirements.

Coun. Evan Woolley said Monday while the additional space was introduced to help businesses through pandemic restrictions, the patios should return in summers to come.

“They’re willing to invest in this,” said Woolley. “Some of these restaurants have put in a significant amount of money (for patios), but a lot of them are holding off, saying, ‘If we’re only doing this for one year, I’m not going to make the investment.’”

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Border opening welcome but too late to salvage the summer: tourism officials

The boardwalk in Canmore is pictured in this file photo. Tourism operators in Alberta welcomed news that Canada will open its borders to fully vaccinated Americans starting Aug. 9.
The boardwalk in Canmore is pictured in this file photo. Tourism operators in Alberta welcomed news that Canada will open its borders to fully vaccinated Americans starting Aug. 9. Photo by Postmedia file

Canada’s commitment to open its borders over the next two months is a solid tonic for the local tourism sector but won’t rescue a summer starved of foreign visitors, says the hospitality industry.

Ottawa’s plan to open Canada’s borders to fully vaccinated Americans on Aug. 9 and other international travellers Sept. 7 is a watershed moment for a pandemic-battered industry, said Cindy Ady, CEO of Tourism Calgary.

But it’s one that brightens a slightly more distant horizon, she said.

“People have made this year’s vacation plans already and for our U.S. friends, their kids go back to school in mid-August,” said Ady. “So this is not for summer, but winter comes on its heels and the ski season is very active.

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“Actually, we’re starting to see the phones light up,” she said.

Read more.

Also: Canada announces fully vaccinated Americans allowed back Aug. 9


Drop-in vaccine clinics open this week

Alberta Health Services is offering no-appointment drop-in clinics in northeast Calgary and Crossfield starting this Saturday. First and second doses will be offered to people born in 2009 or earlier.

There will be 300 doses of mRNA vaccine at each clinic. Remember to bring your Alberta Health Care card if you have one, along with a photo ID.

Here are the locations:

  • July 24 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) –Somali Cultural Centre, 3940 29th St. N.E., Calgary
  • July 27 (4 p.m. to 8 p.m.) – Crossfield Community Centre, 900 Mountain Ave., Crossfield
  • July 29 (4 p.m. to 8 p.m.) – Crossroads Community Centre, 1803 14th Ave. N.E., Calgary

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Quebec to hold COVID-19 experiment in September involving two large-scale concerts

People wearing protective masks attend a Love of Lesbian concert at the Palau Sant Jordi, the first massive concert since the start of the pandemic, in Barcelona, Spain, March 27, 2021.
People wearing protective masks attend a Love of Lesbian concert at the Palau Sant Jordi, the first massive concert since the start of the pandemic, in Barcelona, Spain, March 27, 2021. Photo by REUTERS/Albert Gea

The Quebec government is planning two concerts involving a total of 25,000 spectators in September as an experiment to examine the impact of COVID-19 on large gatherings and to help relaunch the entertainment and tourism industries.

“The goal is to have a test concert sometime in September that would reproduce the conditions pre-pandemic,” Proulx told reporters in Quebec City. “The goal is to help the event industry, which has been severely hit by the pandemic, to fully resume its activities in a safe environment.”

Quebec is touting itself as the first province to attempt such an experiment; similar ones have been held in cities like Barcelona and Paris.

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U.S. coronavirus cases rise, fuelling fears of resurgence

A woman receives a shot of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at a pop-up vaccination centre at the beach, in South Beach, Florida, on May 9, 2021.
A woman receives a shot of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at a pop-up vaccination centre at the beach, in South Beach, Florida, on May 9, 2021. Photo by EVA MARIE UZCATEGUI/AFP via Getty Images

A rapid increase in coronavirus cases in the United States and abroad is fueling fears of a pandemic resurgence and sending shockwaves through the stock market as the highly contagious Delta variant takes hold and vaccinations lag in several states.

Largely due to outbreaks in parts of the country with low vaccination rates, the number of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19 have been on the rise in recent weeks.

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Canada set to receive 7.1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses this week

A person unpacks a special refrigerated box of the Moderna vaccine.
A person unpacks a special refrigerated box of the Moderna vaccine. Getty Images, file

The federal government is expecting to receive about 7.1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines this week, as it adjusts its distribution strategy amid waning vaccination rates and substantial supply.

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The new deliveries will include about 3.1 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and four million doses of Moderna.

“In the coming weeks, we will cross a symbolic threshold of 66 million doses, signalling that there are enough doses in Canada to vaccinate every currently eligible Canadian,” Brig.-Gen. Krista Brodie said Thursday at a virtual news conference from Ottawa.

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‘Quite a ride’: Successful 2021 Stampede a pandemic blueprint, says exhibition

Visitors enjoyed free entry to the Calgary Stampede grounds on Sunday, July 18, 2021.
Visitors enjoyed free entry to the Calgary Stampede grounds on Sunday, July 18, 2021. Photo by Gavin Young/Postmedia

It rustled up half the usual attendance, but the 2021 edition of the Calgary Stampede was a galloping success that shows the way for other major events emerging from the pandemic, exhibition officials said Sunday.

With one day remaining in the annual western bash, final attendance figures weren’t released but its organizers said the 10-day affair attracted about 50,000 people a day, just as predicted.

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Visitor satisfaction levels and a successful approach to screening for COVID-19 at the popular Nashville North music venue are a beacon to organizers of other major events, said Stampede president Steve McDonough.

“Throughout our 109-year history, we have been a trailblazer but never more than this year,” said McDonough.

“This year, our community celebration was a first step to the return to live events for this city and this country and we are proud to lead the way.

“There is light after the darkness of the past 16 months.”

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Banff forges ahead but tourism trade can’t shake pandemic’s grip

Bear St. Plaza nearing completion.
Bear St. Plaza nearing completion. Photo by supplied

While the town of Banff prepares to unveil a transformational leap for its downtown, the mountain resort’s tourist lifeblood remains at a low ebb.

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For a second consecutive summer, the dearth of foreign visitors is casting a pall over Banff, even as the town puts the finishing touches on the Bear Street Plaza which has turned one of its busy core arteries into a pedestrian mecca.

After more than a year of construction-related disruptions, the nearly $10-million project undergirded by 90,000 interlocking bricks is set to open Monday.

“We’re creating a hospitality-friendly street … one of the goals was to redistribute traffic downtown and draw people to Bear Street more,” said Darren Enns, director of planning and development for the Town of Banff.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming the world back — it’s going to be a huge hit with our visitors.”

But with the country’s borders still largely closed, it won’t rescue the summer of 2021, said Jonathan Welsh, co-owner of Banff Trail Riders.

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“Not much has changed since last year,” said Welsh.

“I’m hoping for somewhat of a return to normal travel this winter and a return to that booking window (for 2022).”

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Canada surpasses U.S. in COVID-19 vaccinations, despite its slow start

People receive a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination clinic at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Sunday, June 27, 2021.
People receive a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination clinic at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Sunday, June 27, 2021. Photo by Cole Burston /The Canadian Press

Canada has fully vaccinated 48.8 per cent of its population against COVID-19, overtaking the U.S. rate for the first time after a delayed start caused by procurement troubles and distribution bottlenecks.

In the U.S, where vaccinations are plateauing in some regions, 48.5 per cent of the population is fully inoculated.

Of those old enough to get the vaccine in Canada, 55 per cent have now received two doses, according to calculations by CTV News based on provincial and federal government data. Health authorities have approved the Pfizer Inc. shot for children 12 years and older.

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Rapid progress in the vaccine campaign — Canada had fully vaccinated only 3 per cent of its population as of the middle of May — is paving the way for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government to relax travel restrictions on the eve of a likely election campaign.

Trudeau said last week that Canada will be able to welcome fully-vaccinated travelers from the U.S. as early as mid-August, and from all other countries by September, if “the current positive path of vaccination rate and public health conditions continue.”

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Two athletes in Tokyo’s Olympic Village test positive for COVID-19

The Olympic Rings monument is seen outside the Japan Olympic Committee (JOC) headquarters near the National Stadium, the main stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, in Tokyo, Japan on June 23, 2021.
The Olympic Rings monument is seen outside the Japan Olympic Committee (JOC) headquarters near the National Stadium, the main stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, in Tokyo, Japan on June 23, 2021. Photo by Issei Kato /Reuters

Two athletes residing in the Olympic Village tested positive for COVID-19, officials said Sunday, the first instances of athlete infections inside the Village, underscoring growing fears about the spread of the virus during the Games that are set to begin in five days.

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That means three people have now tested positive inside the Village, an area of Tokyo where Games personnel reside, dine and get tested — and is closed off to the public.

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Facebook says it won’t be blamed for U.S. failing to meet COVID-19 vaccine target

Facebook logo is reflected in a drop on a syringe needle in this illustration photo taken on March 16, 2021.
Facebook logo is reflected in a drop on a syringe needle in this illustration photo taken on March 16, 2021. Photo by Dado Ruvic /Reuters

Facebook Inc. expanded on its pushback to U.S. President Joe Biden’s comment that social media networks enabled the spread of misinformation about vaccines, saying that it won’t take the blame for the administration missing its target to get 70 per cent of Americans inoculated by July 4.

Biden said Friday that social media networks are “killing people” by allowing the spread of misinformation about coronavirus vaccines, saying that “the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated” after he was asked about his message for tech companies.

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Coco Gauff positive for COVID-19, out of Olympics

Coco Gauff has withdrawn from the Tokyo Olympics.
Coco Gauff has withdrawn from the Tokyo Olympics. Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

American teenager Coco Gauff withdrew from the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday after testing positive for COVID-19.

Gauff, 17, shared the news on Twitter.

“It has always been a dream of mine to represent the USA at the Olympics, and I hope there will be many more chances for me to make this come true in the future,” she wrote, in part. “I want to wish TEAM USA best of luck and a safe games for every Olympian and the entire Olympic family.”

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