What’s happening now
- Vaccination is no longer required for public service workers in Alberta, including health-care workers.
- While most public health measures have been lifted in the province, the Alberta Court of Appeal, Court of Queens Bench and provincial courts will keep restrictions in place for the time being.
- From March 2 to 16, Alberta Health Services clinics across the province will provide pediatric vaccines for children aged five to 11 via walk-in appointments.
Hinshaw and Copping to provide pandemic update at 3:30 p.m.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw has returned from vacation and will be back in front of cameras at 3:30 p.m. today for a provincial COVID-19 update. Hinshaw will be joined by Minister of Health Jason Copping.
Check back later for a livestream of the press conference.
COVID-19 hospitalizations see decrease as Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley tests positive for the virus
Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 continue to decline in Alberta on Monday, while NDP Leader Rachel Notley announced she tested positive for the virus.
In a statement Monday morning, Notley said she tested positive for COVID-19 after using a rapid antigen test on Sunday, adding that she is triple-vaccinated and her symptoms are mild.
“I’m fortunate that I can continue to work on behalf of Alberta families while in isolation at my home. I look forward to returning to the legislature in person as soon as it’s safe to do so,” she said.
Police to brief council on weekly Beltline protests as tensions heighten
City councillors are slated to discuss “freedom rally” protests in Calgary’s Beltline, as the anti-COVID mandate demonstrations continue to take over the city’s core each Saturday.
Members of the Calgary Police Service and the Calgary Police Commission are scheduled to brief council on the protests at its Tuesday meeting. That conversation is set to take place behind closed doors, but Ward 11 Coun. Kourtney Penner said she hopes part of the discussion will be public.
Penner said safety and de-escalation should be the goal in handling protests, but that the weekly events are growing increasingly hostile.
“What’s been done and what’s being done isn’t working,” Penner told Postmedia Monday.
Alberta reports 1,113 new cases, 18 deaths over three days
Here are today’s COVID-19 numbers released by Alberta Health:
- The province is reporting 1,113 new COVID-19 cases over the past three days, through 6,182 tests completed.
- There are 1,103 people in hospital with COVID-19, a decrease of 61 since Friday’s reporting. There are 77 people in ICU, the same number as Friday.
- There were another 18 COVID-related deaths reported to Alberta Health Services since Friday, bringing the total to 3,972 since the start of the pandemic. There have been 653 deaths reported in Alberta since Jan. 1.
- There are 7,158 recorded active infections in the province. In the Calgary zone, there are a reported 2,218 active cases.
- Alberta’s two-dose vaccination rate for the population age 12 and over is 86.6 per cent.
‘She’s my shadow’: Separation anxiety a concern as dog owners head back to work
As workers begin to head back to the office, many for the first time in almost two years, some of their fluffy four-legged co-workers are finding themselves out of a job and without the constant companionship they’ve grown used to.
Alberta’s work-from-home mandate ended at the beginning of March, nixed by the government alongside a slew of other health orders meant to combat the spread of COVID-19. Now, as office workers start to forgo pajama-laden Zoom meetings for their in-person counterparts, their dogs and cats likely won’t be tagging along, prompting concerns from the Calgary Humane Society (CHS) about separation anxiety.
Emma Harrow adopted Della, a Cavapoo, in January 2021. For Della, all she’s ever known is the pandemic routine that sees her owner home throughout the workday, readily available for walks, treats and attention. Now, with Harrow gearing up to return to work in person three days a week beginning March 14, she’s working to ease her “pandemic puppy” into the shift by enrolling her in a doggy daycare to ensure they have some time apart, something she plans to continue once she’s back at work.
Freedom Convoy protest organizer Tamara Lich granted bail after review
Tamara Lich, one of the principal organizers of the “Freedom Convoy” protest that gridlocked downtown Ottawa for three weeks has been granted bail.
Lich will be released on a total of $25,000 in bond with conditions not to protest COVID mandates or use any form of social media, and she must return to her home in Alberta.
Lich was arrested Feb. 17 and charged with counselling mischief, the day before police moved in to disperse crowds in downtown Ottawa using powers invoked under the federal Emergencies Act.
She was initially denied bail on Feb. 22 after Ontario Court Justice Julie Bourgeois deemed her detention was “necessary for the protection and safety of the public.”
City of Calgary to offer family pop-up vaccination clinic
The City of Calgary recently announced it will be offering a family-friendly vaccine program to support Calgarians over two dates in March.
According to a press release, the clinics are in partnership with aisokinakio’p, the Indigenous-led COVID-19 immunization clinic created by the Aboriginal Friendship Centre of Calgary, Siksika Health Services and OKAKI Health Intelligence.
“In working with our community partners, we heard through various channels that families are facing barriers to access vaccines. This is a great opportunity for the City to help remove those barriers and improve the health of our community. These pop-up clinics will have more than just the COVID-19 vaccine” said acting chief Mike Luchia from Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA).
On March 12, a pop-up will be stationed at #10 755 Falconridge Blvd. N.E., from 12:00 to 7:00 p.m.
On March 19, another pop-up will be held at the Village Square Leisure Centre, located at 2623 56 St. N.E., from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The release said the clinics will provide more than Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Calgarians will also be able to get an influenza shot, as well as vaccination for pneumonia. Additionally, pediatric vaccines for COVID-19 and influenza will be available.
Participants are asked to bring their identification, adding an Alberta Health Card is helpful if people have one, but it’s not required.
Remember COVID? Why many of us are suffering from brain fog
As Canada reopens amid loosening pandemic restrictions, some people are finding it hard to recall words or names or compute things in their heads. Maybe you don’t remember all the steps to your morning routine anymore or your child’s teacher’s name.
Approximately 600 million people worldwide experience cognitive impairment in the form of “brain fog”. This “fog” is a common symptom of what is dubbed “long COVID,” the long-term effects of having contracted the COVID-19 virus.
Why is this happening and what can be done to combat it?
“I don’t think we exactly know the answer…these are all, neuroscientifically, not very well-defined things,” said Dr. Adrian Owen, a professor of cognitive neuroscience at Western University in London, Ontario.
Even though “brain fog” lacks a specific scientific definition, he said they are starting to understand how it impacts the brains of people who have had COVID.