Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

COVID-19 Dwell Updates: Information on coronavirus in Calgary for Jan. 31

0

Breadcrumb Trail Links

Follow this page for updates and breaking news on coronavirus throughout the day.

Author of the article:

Newsroom Staff

Publishing date:

Feb 01, 2021  •  February 1, 2021  •  9 minute read Calgarians enjoy cross-country skiing through the historic Fort Calgary area on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021. The ski loop, a first for the area, is a collaboration between Fort Calgary, the East Village and the Foothills Nordic Ski Club. Photo by Gavin Young/Postmedia

Article content

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

Advertisement

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

Article content

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. Have you received your vaccine, and if so did you feel any side effects? Send us an email at reply@calgaryherald.com to tell us your experience, or send us a message via this form.

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

Grandparents, researchers, friends: 20,000 people in Canada have died of COVID-19

Benito Quesada hugging son, Adriel, 12 Photo by Supplied

COVID-19 also blazed through meat-packing plants last year. Many of those infected were people who had come to Canada looking for a better life.

Benito Quesada worked at a large slaughterhouse south of Calgary. The 51-year-old from Mexico was a union shop steward at the Cargill plant in High River, Alta.

“He always told me how proud he was for having been able to bring his family to Canada,” said Michael Hughes with the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 401.

Quesada, described as a quiet, gentle and humble man, was one of two plant employees to die from COVID-19 when the virus infected nearly half of its 2,200 staff last spring.

Read more.

UFCW Local 401 town hall hears workers nervous about vaccinations

UFCW Local 401 president Thomas Hesse holds flags as other union members used poles to hand out masks and information to workers entering the Cargill plant near High River while protesting the meat processing plant reopening on Monday, May 4, 2020. The plant had been temporarily shut down after hundreds of workers contracted COVID-19. The union says the plant is still not a safe for workers. Gavin Young/Postmedia UFCW Local 401 president Thomas Hesse holds flags as other union members used poles to hand out masks and information to workers entering the Cargill plant near High River on Monday, May 4, 2020. Gavin Young/Postmedia

Leaders of a prominent Alberta food service union tried Sunday to allay worker anxieties over eventually receiving vaccines for COVID-19.

In a morning general membership meeting attended by about 3,000 workers, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 401, which represents about 32,000 Alberta workers largely across grocery stores and meat-processing facilities, found that more than half of attendees are nervous about getting immunized for the novel coronavirus.

Advertisement

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

Article content

Surveys among attending members showed only 29 per cent of members would feel comfortable with employers making vaccinations mandatory, and 60 per cent continue to feel anxious about going to work during the pandemic.

Union president Thomas Hesse told Postmedia following the meeting it’s important to address these valid concerns from frontline workers.

“These people are forced to go to workplaces that are essentially public places. It’s like an NHL game, bumping into each other,” Hesse said. “They’re naturally nervous, they’re naturally full of anxiety.”

Read more.

Alberta reports another 461 COVID-19 cases as some business owners puzzled by relaunch timeline

Nathalie Hunter, owner of Canyon Meadows Cinemas wants to know why the risk management on theatres is categorized as much greater than bars and restaurants in Calgary on Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021. Photo by Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia

With restaurants, bars and gyms set to reopen in a week with strict restrictions, business owners who haven’t gotten the green light say they feel puzzled by the government’s relaunch timeline.

Movie theatres and indoor entertainment centres are among the businesses waiting until the second, third and fourth stages of the new relaunch strategy, announced Friday by Premier Jason Kenney. Owners of such businesses say they are disappointed and confused about being left out of the Feb. 8 reopening, adding they have the ability to maintain just as safe an environment as restaurants and bars.

There are currently 561 people in Alberta hospitals, including 101 patients in intensive-care units, as of Sunday.

Another 461 cases of the novel coronavirus were identified from 8,946 tests for a positivity rate of 5.2 per cent — the highest in more than a week.

Advertisement

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

Article content

Eight Albertans were reported dead on Sunday, including four people from the Calgary zone, three from the Edmonton zone and one from the North zone. Their deaths bring the province’s death toll to 1,639.

Of the 7,505 active cases provincewide, 40 per cent are in the Calgary zone.

Read more.

Parkland County church holds packed service despite closure order for COVID-19 rule violations

GraceLife Church of Edmonton held a packed Sunday morning service despite an order not to for violation of COVID-19 regulations. Dustin Cook-PostMedia

A church just west of Edmonton held a packed service Sunday morning despite being ordered shut after continued violations of provincial COVID-19 rules.

Congregants honked with glee as they drove into the parking lot of GraceLife Church of Edmonton, a few minutes west of the city in Parkland County, prior to the 10:45 a.m. Sunday service. One RCMP cruiser was on site but left by 11 a.m.

The church was issued the immediate closure order from Alberta Health Services Friday afternoon for conditions that are dangerous to public health and against the current rules.

Parkland County RCMP said officers would be one site Sunday morning to assist AHS in compliance efforts if the closure is violated. “Our role would be to accompany AHS to keep the peace. We’re there in a support role,” Cpl. Deanna Fontaine told Postmedia on Saturday.

Families could be seen walking unmasked from the packed parking lot into the church. A livestream of the online service showed congregants singing, also unmasked.

Read more.

Israel extends lockdown, sees delay in COVID-19 turnaround

FILE PHOTO: Police barrier tape is seen in a fashion shopping center as Israel tightens a national lockdown in a bid to curb a sharp rise in new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections in Ashdod, Israel Jan. 8, 2021. Photo by REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Advertisement

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

Article content

JERUSALEM — Israel extended a national lockdown on Sunday as coronavirus variants offset its vaccination drive and officials predicted a delay in a turnaround from the health and economic crisis.

Highlighting Israel’s challenges in enforcing restrictions, thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews attended the Jerusalem funerals of two prominent rabbis on Sunday, drawing criticism from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition partners.

Netanyahu has promoted a speedy vaccination of Israel’s most vulnerable cohorts – around 24% of 9 million citizens – and the lockdown as dual pathways to a possible reopening of the economy in February.

But a projected mid-January turnaround in curbing the pandemic did not transpire. Serious cases have surged among Israelis who have not yet been vaccinated. Officials blame that on communicable foreign virus strains and on lockdown scofflaws.

Read more.

Saturday

Gym and restaurants owners have mixed reactions on province’s reopening plans

Mike Shupenia owner of Side Street Pub & Grill in Kensington thinks the Province would have been better with a full lockdown than the new rstrictions in Calgary on Thursday, November 12, 2020. Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia Mike Shupenia owner of Side Street Pub & Grill in Kensington said he’s worried about bad publicity if an outbreak is somehow linked back to his establishment, even as they follow all protocols. Photo by Darren Makowichuk /DARREN MAKOWICHUK/Postmedia

Calgary business owners have mixed reactions to Alberta’s reopening plan with some calling it a “punch in the face” and others a “happy surprise.”

Premier Jason Kenney announced on Friday that Alberta would be easing some restrictions come Feb. 8, considering hospitalizations had dipped below 600.

Among them, restaurants, cafes and pubs will be allowed to offer dine-in service and gyms may reopen for one-on-one, scheduled training with appropriate safety measures in place.

Advertisement

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

Article content

Mike Shupenia, owner of Side Street Pub in Kensington, said many bars and restaurants are “close to the brink” and the rules that govern the reopening of eateries will “handicap” many establishments.

Read more.

Saturday

Hockey Calgary ‘disappointed’ by continued restrictions

FILE - Members of the Atom 1 South Bow Valley Black team are seen cheering before they hit the ice at the Lake Bonavista arena during the 2019/2020 Esso Minor Hockey Week hosted by Hockey Calgary. FILE – Members of the Atom 1 South Bow Valley Black team are seen cheering before they hit the ice at the Lake Bonavista arena during the 2019/2020 Esso Minor Hockey Week hosted by Hockey Calgary. Photo by Brendan Miller /Postmedia

A new survey released by Hockey Calgary shows more than three-quarters of families want to get back on the ice, but a significant number say they think it’s best to cancel the season now.

The news comes amid a new setback for organized youth sports in Alberta, as the easing of some public-health measures meant to curb the spread of COVID-19 excludes all activities outside of school settings.

The anonymous survey, answered by about 83 per cent of families involved in a Hockey Calgary program, shows the majority of parents want their kids to play the sport this winter in some capacity, while 27 per cent would rather see the season cancelled.

Read more.

Saturday

Alberta logs 383 more COVID-19 cases as rural regions lead province in active case rates

Calgarians wear masks while walking under the arches of the downtown Hudson's Bay Company store on a grey day in the city,  Wednesday, January 13, 2021.
Gavin Young/Postmedia Calgarians wear masks while walking under the arches of the downtown Hudson’s Bay Company store on a grey day in the city, Wednesday, January 13, 2021. Photo by Gavin Young /Postmedia

Another 383 Albertans have tested positive for COVID-19, the province announced Saturday, as rural regions overtake urban centres in active case rates.

The cases come from 10,377 tests, representing a 3.7 per cent positivity rate. It’s the second-lowest positivity rate logged in Alberta since Oct. 24, as the province’s second wave began ramping up.

An additional 11 deaths from the novel coronavirus were also reported, including two within the Alberta Health Services Calgary zone. To date, 1,631 Albertans have died from the virus, including 469 in the month of January alone.

Read more.

Advertisement

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

Article content

The province reported 583 people in hospital, including 103 in ICU. Active cases dropped in all health zones across the province.

Saturday

Don’t like Canada’s new mandatory quarantine? It’s part of why New Zealand is now back to normal

Remember crowds? This one enjoys a SIX60 performance last week in Hastings, New Zealand, which has reported just 25 COVID-19 deaths. Photo by Kerry Marshall/Getty Images

On Friday the Government of Canada announced a new program prescribing mandatory supervised hotel quarantines for all travellers entering the country. It’s one of the strictest measures yet imposed in the fight against COVID-19, but it’s a measure with good precedent: New Zealand, one of the most enthusiastic adopters of mandatory hotel quarantines, has been ranked the best performing county in an index of almost 100 countries based on their containment of the coronavirus.

As we here in Canada undertake the grim task of reviewing our ICU triage protocols, New Zealanders are packing into stadiums without masks and celebrating New Year’s Eve in dense crowds just like the old days. COVID-19 has killed 18,000 Canadians and counting, while New Zealand is at 25 deaths.

The Pacific Island nation had a breach this week, with a couple of positive cases of the South African COVID variant, all linked to the same quarantine facility in Auckland. While New Zealand has been lucky, it largely has itself to credit for its success.

Read more.

Saturday

Germany is already ordering vaccines for 2022, minister says

A medical worker prepares to administer the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a nursing home in Burgbernheim, Germany, Dec. 28, 2020. Photo by REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

Germany is ordering vaccines for 2022 in case regular or booster doses are needed to keep the population immune against variants of COVID-19, Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Saturday, amid growing frustration in Europe at the slow pace of vaccination.

Advertisement

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

Article content

Speaking at an online town hall of healthcare workers, Spahn defended the progress made on procuring and administering vaccines, saying 2.3 million of Germany’s 83 million people had already received a dose.

European governments have faced criticism over supply and production bottlenecks as vaccine makers AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna have all announced cuts to delivery volumes just as they were expected to ramp up production.

Read more.

Saturday

Portugal close to running out of ICU beds for COVID patients

A COVID-19 patient transferred from Lisbon arrives at Nelio Mendonca Hospital in Funchal, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Funchal, on the island of Madeira, Portugal, January 29, 2021. REUTERS/Duarte Sa ORG XMIT: GGG-DS04 A COVID-19 patient transferred from Lisbon arrives at Nelio Mendonca Hospital in Funchal, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Funchal, on the island of Madeira, Portugal, January 29, 2021. Photo by DUARTE SA /REUTERS

Portugal said on Saturday it only had seven vacant beds left in intensive care units (ICUs) set up for COVID-19 cases on its mainland, as a surge in infections prompted the authorities to send some critical patients to Portuguese islands.

Health Ministry data showed that, out of 850 ICU beds allocated to COVID-19 cases on its mainland, a record 843 beds were now occupied. The nation of 10 million people has an additional 420 ICU beds for those with other ailments.

The ministry said the number of daily infections was 12,435, dipping from Thursday’s record, while there were 293 deaths.

Read more.

Share this article in your social network

Calgary Herald Headline News

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.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.