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COVID-19 Live Updates: News on coronavirus in Calgary for May 10


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

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Monday

Alberta sees ‘massive increase’ in deaths among youth during pandemic: study

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Alberta Health Services ambulances and paramedics were photographed at the Peter Lougheed Centre in Calgary on Monday, January 17, 2022.
Alberta Health Services ambulances and paramedics were photographed at the Peter Lougheed Centre in Calgary on Monday, January 17, 2022. Photo by Gavin Young/Postmedia

Alberta logged a “massive increase” in deaths from causes other than COVID-19 among youth during the pandemic, a recent study has found.

The conference abstract found excess mortality in Alberta from January 2020 to May 2021, meaning the number of deaths that took place in the province during that time was higher than would be expected when compared to death rates from 2015 to 2019.

During that time frame, there were an average of 248 monthly excess deaths in Alberta. That ranged from as few as 49 excess deaths in January 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit Alberta, to as many as 781 excess deaths in December 2020.

Over those 17 months, 2,226 Albertans died of COVID-19, representing about 54 per cent of the 4,214 excess deaths in the province over that time period. And younger Albertans made up a large share of those deaths.

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Monday

Crown seeks direct indictment for one of four accused in Coutts border blockade

An RCMP officer monitors a blockade of trucks and other vehicles about 15 kilometres north of the border crossing at Coutts, Alta., on Feb. 8, 2022.
An RCMP officer monitors a blockade of trucks and other vehicles about 15 kilometres north of the border crossing at Coutts, Alta., on Feb. 8, 2022. Photo by Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia

The Crown is attempting to streamline the cases of four men charged with conspiracy to commit murder at a border blockade protest in southern Alberta.

Prosecutor Steven Johnston told court in Lethbridge on Monday that the Crown is preparing a direct indictment for Christopher Lysak, 48, who has already waived his right to a preliminary hearing so his trial can go ahead.

He requested a trial by judge and jury.

An accused is normally entitled to a preliminary hearing, but the Crown can override that by filing a direct indictment, which has to be approved by the attorney general.

“The Crown has prepared a direct indictment in this matter and it also joins three other gentlemen with the same person,” Johnston told Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Dallas Miller.

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Monday

City of Toronto declares end of emergency order declared over COVID-19 pandemic

Toronto Mayor John Tory addresses media at North York’s Mel Lastman Square on Saturday April 23, 2022.
Toronto Mayor John Tory addresses media at North York’s Mel Lastman Square on Saturday April 23, 2022. Photo by ERNEST DOROSZUK /TORONTO SUN FILES

Canada’s most populous city is ending the municipal emergency it declared over the COVID-19 pandemic.

Toronto Mayor John Tory says he’s “very happy” to be declaring the end of the municipal emergency that took effect on March 23, 2020.

Tory says the declaration allowed the city to redeploy some 1,700 public employees to shelters, long-term care homes and other priority areas that required extra support during the pandemic.

Despite terminating the emergency order, Tory warns that the pandemic is not over and says the city will continue its vaccination efforts, receive public health guidance from the city’s top doctor and offer recovery supports as it keeps up the fight against COVID-19.

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The city’s top doctor, Dr. Eileen de Villa, says Toronto’s COVID-19 indicators are either decreasing or holding stable this week, and that she’s “encouraged” to see signs of improvement in Toronto’s health system capacity as well as in weekly case rates, per cent positivity and wastewater signals.

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Monday

Over a quarter of Quebec adults developed COVID-19 antibodies in early 2022: study

Auxiliary nurse Melissa Robles connects tube to donor Nathalie Drouin-Courtois, who was donating plasma at a Hema-Quebec blood clinic in Kirkland.
Auxiliary nurse Melissa Robles connects tube to donor Nathalie Drouin-Courtois, who was donating plasma at a Hema-Quebec blood clinic in Kirkland. Photo by John Mahoney /Montreal Gazette

More than one in four Quebec adults developed COVID-19 antibodies between January and mid-March of this year, according to a study released Monday by the province’s blood services organization.

The study by Hema-Quebec, which was carried out at the request of the province’s Health Department, used a test that was able to detect COVID-19 antibodies in adult blood donors.

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Researchers compared the presence of antibodies to an earlier sample from the same person taken before the arrival of the Omicron variant.

Using samples donated to the province’s plasma bank, the organization concluded that 27.8 per cent of Quebec’s adult population was infected with COVID-19 in the first two-and-a-half months of the year.

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Monday

COVID vaccine makers shift focus to boosters

Vials with Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine labels are seen in this illustration picture taken March 19, 2021.
Vials with Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine labels are seen in this illustration picture taken March 19, 2021. Photo by Dado Ruvic/Illustration /REUTERS

COVID-19 vaccine makers are shifting gears and planning for a smaller, more competitive booster shot market after delivering as many doses as fast as they could over the last 18 months.

Executives at the biggest COVID vaccine makers including Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc said they believe most people who wanted to get vaccinated against COVID have already done so — more than 5 billion people worldwide.

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In the coming year, most COVID vaccinations will be booster shots, or first inoculations for children, which are still gaining regulatory approvals around the world, they said.

Pfizer, which makes its shot with Germany’s BioNTech SE, and Moderna still see a major role for themselves in the vaccine market even as overall demand declines.

Upstart U.S. vaccine maker Novavax Inc and Germany’s CureVac NV, which is working with GlaxoSmithKline, are developing vaccines they hope to target at the booster market.

The roles of AstraZeneca Plc and Johnson & Johnson, whose shots have been less popular or effective, are expected to decline in this market.

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Monday

‘Like a prison’: Shanghai, Beijing ratchet up COVID curbs

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FILE PHOTO: A resident looks out through a gap in the barrier at a residential area during lockdown, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Shanghai, China, May 6, 2022. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: A resident looks out through a gap in the barrier at a residential area during lockdown, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Shanghai, China, May 6, 2022. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo Photo by ALY SONG /REUTERS

China’s two largest cities tightened COVID-19 curbs on Monday, fueling public angst and even questions about the legality of its uncompromising battle with the virus that has battered the world’s second-largest economy.

In Shanghai, enduring its sixth week of lockdown, authorities have launched a new push to end infections outside quarantine zones by late May, according to people familiar with the matter.

While there has been no official announcement, residents in at least four of Shanghai’s 16 districts received notices at the weekend saying they would not be allowed to leave their homes or receive deliveries, prompting a scramble to stock up on food.

Some of these people had previously been allowed to move around their residential compounds.

“Go home, go home!” a woman shouted through a megaphone at residents mingling below an apartment block impacted by the new restrictions on Sunday, a scene that might baffle the rest of the world that has opted to open up and live with the virus.

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