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COVID-19 Live Updates: News on coronavirus in Calgary for Feb. 24


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

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  • Premier Jason Kenney is continuing his fight against the federal government’s Emergencies Act, even after it has been revoked.
  • Mackenzie County’s refusal of contractors with vaccine mandates may be at odds with trade obligations, according to the province.
  • With updated numbers posted after the long weekend and an issue with its website, on Wednesday the province reported 13 deaths over the past 24 hours, and 53 since Friday.
  • Health Minister Jason Copping said during a COVID-19 update Wednesday provincial indicators continue to trend downward.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the use of the Emergencies Act will come to an end after being in place for just over a week.
  • From March 2-16, Alberta Health Services clinics across the province will provide pediatric vaccines for children aged five to 11 via walk-in appointments.

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Wednesday

Kenney continues attack on federal Emergencies Act, despite Trudeau’s revocation

Premier Jason Kenney.
Premier Jason Kenney. Photo by Azin Ghaffari /Postmedia, file

Premier Jason Kenney took to Alberta’s legislature to continue his fight against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s invocation of the Emergencies Act, despite Trudeau’s announcement he would end its use.

Kenney introduced a motion Wednesday condemning the federal government’s move, saying governments and police already had the authority to deal with weeks-long illegal border blockades and the occupation of Ottawa by demonstrators.

Kenney said it didn’t matter that the prime minister announced he would lift the act because it set a dangerous precedent and amounted to “one of the most obvious overreaches of government power in my lifetime.”

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Wednesday

Mackenzie County refusal of contractors with vaccine mandate may be at odds with trade obligations: province

Mackenzie County has said it will not contract with businesses who require their employees to be vaccinated.
Mackenzie County has said it will not contract with businesses who require their employees to be vaccinated. Photo by Getty Images

Mackenzie County’s new policy not to contract businesses that mandate COVID-19 vaccination might violate interprovincial trade agreements, according to the Alberta government.

A spokesperson for Municipal Affairs Minister Ric McIver told Postmedia Wednesday that there are “concerns” that the recent decision made by the northern Alberta council is problematic.

“We are still reviewing it to determine if it complies with trade and procurement obligations. Even if this isn’t a traditional discriminatory barrier, it may be seen as such,” press secretary Scott Johnston said.

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Wednesday

Alberta death count rises by 53 since Friday’s reporting

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

  • The province is reporting 791 new COVID-19 cases since yesterday from around 2,776 tests completed.
  • There are 1,373 people in hospital with COVID-19, a decrease of seven since yesterday. There are 90 people in ICU, a decrease of five since yesterday.
  • There were another 13 COVID-related deaths reported to Alberta Health Services, bringing the total to 3,883 since the start of the pandemic. The number is up by 53 since Friday’s reporting. There have been 564 deaths reported in Alberta since Jan. 1.
  • There are 11,189 recorded active infections in the province. In the Calgary zone, there are a reported 3,835 active cases.
  • Alberta’s two-dose vaccination rate for the population age 12 and over is 86.5 per cent.

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Wednesday

Copping says provincial indicators continue to trend downward

Health Minister Jason Copping.
Health Minister Jason Copping. Photo by Ed Kaiser/Postmedia

During a COVID-19 update today, Health Minister Jason Copping said all provincial indicators continue to trend downward.

“After a difficult fifth wave that brought so much uncertainty over the past few months, this is very welcomed news,” he said.

He said there are 68 per cent fewer active cases today than there were at the beginning of February.

Copping said another declining trend is the number of schools that have shifted to online learning to address operational challenges. He added Alberta Education has confirmed as of today, there are no schools in temporary at-home learning in Alberta.

Looking at hospitalizations, Copping said last week there were 1,500 Albertans in hospital with or due to COVID-19, including 121 in ICU. Today, he said there are a total of 1,373 in hospital, including 90 in ICU.

“This decrease is a positive sign that pressure is easing on our health-care system and hopefully, a beginning of relief for our hard working health-care workers.”

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Wednesday

Hospitalizations decline in Alberta; deaths continue to mount

The Peter Lougheed Centre hospital in Calgary.
The Peter Lougheed Centre hospital in Calgary. Gavin Young/Postmedia


Wednesday

With Ottawa protest dismantled, Trudeau revokes Emergencies Act

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at a news conference on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at a news conference on Tuesday. Photo by Patrick Doyle/Reuters

Controversial emergency measures invoked by the Trudeau Liberals last week have been revoked.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the news Wednesday afternoon, just nine days after the Emergencies Act was invoked on Feb. 14 to end crippling blockades and occupations both in downtown Ottawa and at land border crossings across Canada.

Trudeau credited the end of the downtown Ottawa protests with cabinet’s decision to revoke the measures, a move he said was needed to end the illegal occupation and clear streets from dozens of parked vehicles and big rigs.

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Wednesday

AHS to make pediatric COVID-19 vaccines more accessible

A child receives a vaccine dose in Louisville, Kentucky, on Nov. 8, 2021.
A child receives a vaccine dose in Louisville, Kentucky, on Nov. 8, 2021. Photo by JONATHAN CHERRY /REUTERS

From March 2 to March 16, Alberta Health Services clinics across the province will provide pediatric vaccines for children aged five to 11 via walk-in appointments.

“We are constantly looking for ways to make vaccination easier for Albertans of all ages,” said Health Minister Jason Copping in a news release. “That is why we are increasing options for families who have made the choice to get their children protected. Extended hours and walk-in availability will help working families take their children for vaccines at times that work best for them.”

A small number of AHS clinics will begin to accept walk-ins for children beginning this week. The release said the clinics will be open on weekdays from 3 to 8 p.m., and on weekends from noon to 6 p.m.

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Additionally, pharmacies with extended hours and experience vaccinating children will also administer the pediatric vaccines.

“Pharmacies in the Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer, Lethbridge, Grande Prairie, Medicine Hat and Fort McMurray areas will be added, focusing on local geographic regions with under-vaccinated populations of five to 11 year olds, as well as 17 pharmacies in rural communities,” the release said.

To find a participating AHS clinic, visit the AHS website.

For more information on pharmacies offering the vaccinations for children, visit the Alberta Blue Cross website.


Wednesday

Protesters outside Manitoba legislature say they will comply with police order to clear out

Transport trucks and farm equipment block traffic in front of the Manitoba Legislative Building in Winnipeg on Feb. 4, 2022.
Transport trucks and farm equipment block traffic in front of the Manitoba Legislative Building in Winnipeg on Feb. 4, 2022. Photo by REUTERS/Shannon VanRaes

A protest in front of the Manitoba legislature against COVID-19 restrictions started winding down Wednesday, hours before a deadline issued by police.

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Some vehicles that had occupied a block of Memorial Boulevard, just outside the main entrance to the legislature grounds, left the area after almost three weeks.

“We weren’t surprised. We knew it was an eventuality. We knew that we would have a situation like we would in Ottawa where we could refuse or we could comply, and as an organizing team we had agreed early on that we would comply,” said Caleb Brown, a co-organizer of the protest.

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Wednesday

Global digest: COVID-19 around the world

A girl receives a COVID-19 vaccine dose at a health centre in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Feb. 23, 2022.
A girl receives a COVID-19 vaccine dose at a health centre in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Feb. 23, 2022. Photo by TANG CHHIN SOTHY /AFP via Getty Images

Countries continue to deal with COVID-19 with different approaches and with varying results nearly two years into the global pandemic. Here are some updates from various countries:

Italy reported 49,040 COVID-19 related cases today, against 60,029 the day before, the health ministry said, while the number of deaths fell to 252 from 322.The country has registered 153,764 deaths linked to COVID-19 since its outbreak emerged in February 2020, the second-highest toll in Europe after Britain and the eighth highest in the world. The country has reported 12.6 million cases to date.

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Poland will remove most COVID-19 restrictions from March 1, while keeping the obligation to wear face masks in enclosed public spaces, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said today.While face masks will remain compulsory in public spaces including shops and transportation, limits on the number of people visiting stores, restaurants and cultural venues will be removed.

Hong Kong reported a record 8,674 new COVID-19 infections today, as the city prepares for compulsory testing of its residents after authorities extended the toughest social restrictions imposed since the pandemic began.Health authorities reported 24 deaths compared with Tuesday’s 32, as they step up measures, with assistance from their mainland counterparts, to contain the outbreak.

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Cambodia started vaccinating children as young as three against COVID-19 today, becoming one of the first countries to cover the age group of those below five.The Southeast Asian nation has vaccinated more than 90% of its population of 16 million, for one of the highest rates in the region, official data show. In January, it started rolling out a fourth dose for high-risk groups.

— Reuters


Wednesday

COVID vaccine supply for global program outstrips demand for first time

The global project to share COVID-19 vaccines is struggling to place more than 300 million doses in the latest sign the problem with vaccinating the world is now more about demand than supply.

Last year, wealthy nations snapped most of the available shots to inoculate their own citizens first, meaning less than a third of people in low-income countries have been vaccinated so far compared with more than 70% in richer nations.

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As supply and donations have ramped up, however, poorer nations are facing hurdles such as gaps in cold-chain shortage, vaccine hesitancy and a lack of money to support distribution networks, public health officials told Reuters.

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Wednesday

U.S. truckers inspired by Canada’s ‘Freedom Convoy’ to roll out today

American truck drivers are planning to drive cross-country to protest against COVID restrictions.
American truck drivers are planning to drive cross-country to protest against COVID restrictions. Photo by Hyungwon Kang/Reuters/File

Taking a cue from demonstrations that paralyzed Canada’s capital city for weeks, U.S. truckers on Wednesday plan to embark on a 2,500-mile (4,000-km) cross-country drive towards Washington to protest coronavirus restrictions.

Organizers of the ‘People’s Convoy’ say they want to “jumpstart the economy” and reopen the country. Their 11-day trek will approach the Beltway around the U.S. capital on March 5 “but will not be going into D.C. proper,” according to a statement.

The Pentagon on Tuesday said it had approved 400 D.C. National Guard troops to “provide support at designated traffic posts, provide command and control, and cover sustainment requirements” from Feb. 26 through March 7.

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