COVID-19 Update: Air travel will soon require a negative test | More than 200 cases at AgeCare Skypointe

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.



a woman standing in front of a building: Jordan McCaffrey, manager of the James Joyce on Stephen Avenue mall, sets up a sign advertising curb-side service on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020.


© Provided by Calgary Herald
Jordan McCaffrey, manager of the James Joyce on Stephen Avenue mall, sets up a sign advertising curb-side service on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020.

What’s happening now

My COVID Story: How have you been impacted by coronavirus?

Postmedia is looking to speak with people who may have been impacted by the growing second wave of COVID-19 here in Alberta. Do you have a child or teen who caught COVID-19? Are you a front-line worker? Have you been immunized? Send us an email at [email protected] to tell us your experience, or send us a message via this form .

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



logo, company name:  Numbers reported by Alberta Health on Tuesday, Dec. 29.


Numbers reported by Alberta Health on Tuesday, Dec. 29.

Liberals to soon require air travellers to test negative for COVID-19 before arrival



a person holding a piece of luggage:  John Martin pauses in the International arrivals area at the Calgary International Airport in Calgary on Wednesday, May 20, 2020. He took a stroll through the airport before heading to Kitimat.


© Jim Wells/Postmedia
John Martin pauses in the International arrivals area at the Calgary International Airport in Calgary on Wednesday, May 20, 2020. He took a stroll through the airport before heading to Kitimat.

The federal government says it plans to require air travellers to test negative for COVID-19 before landing in Canada.

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc says cabinet ministers decided this morning to quickly enact the new requirement.

All passengers on flights entering Canada will require a negative PCR test three days before their arrival.

LeBlanc didn’t say when the requirement will be in place.

Read more .

Restaurant manager says inspector walked in on food being served to laid-off staff



a group of people sitting at a table in front of a store:  The Little Tavern Pizza Project opened in October, according to the restaurant’s Instagram page.


© Provided by Calgary Herald
The Little Tavern Pizza Project opened in October, according to the restaurant’s Instagram page.

The manager of a southwest Calgary pizza restaurant said they were not serving the general public when an AHS inspector walked in to find food on a table.

The Little Tavern Pizza Project, located at 5-5555 Strathcona Hill S.W., was ordered to close its dining room on Dec. 23.

The inspector’s report noted that the operator was providing dine-in food service, and patrons from different households were seated less than 2 metres apart.

Keith Luce, manager at the Little Tavern Pizza Project in Strathcona Park, said the people dining weren’t patrons, but employees who were given some new menu items to try.

Read more .

UK to roll out Astra/Oxford COVID vaccine after world-first approval



a dog sitting on a bed:  AstraZeneca and Oxford University’s vaccine has been approved for use in the U.K.


© Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images
AstraZeneca and Oxford University’s vaccine has been approved for use in the U.K.

Britain on Wednesday became the first country in the world to approve the coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, hoping that rapid action will help it stem a record surge of infections driven by a highly contagious form of the virus.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government, which has ordered 100 million doses, had already fast-tracked approval of a vaccine developed by Pfizer of the United States and Germany’s BioNTech, and administered hundreds of thousands of shots weeks ahead of European Union countries and the United States.

Canada has signed an agreement for 20 million doses of the Oxford vaccine. It has not yet been approved for use in Canada.

Read more .

Braid: Overt, organized racism is taking shape in Calgary under cover of COVID-19



a group of people sitting at a train station:  Commuters at the Rundle CTrain station.


© Provided by Calgary Herald
Commuters at the Rundle CTrain station.

Columnist Don Braid writes:

Nenshi often speaks out forcefully against racism. In a year-end interview, he painted a moving picture of the city’s social realities for many people who are targets of racism.

“COVID-19 has exposed for me the enormous class stratification of our city’s economy, and how we have abided by it for so long,” he says.

“In my neighbourhood, (the upper northeast) even at the height of the lockdown, the traffic barely changed when the rest of the city was so quiet.

“That’s because every morning, very early in the morning, a bunch of people get up and they get on the bus and they go to work.

“Most of them are women, most of them are new Canadians.

“They go to work in the long-term care centres, where they help our grandparents wake up, and clean them and change their diapers and get them ready for breakfast.

“And they do that through the morning and then they leave, because the privately-owned long-term care centre will only give them 30 hours a week so the company doesn’t have to pay benefits.”

Read more .

Province to begin rolling out vaccines to continuing-care homes as another 26 deaths reported



a sign on a pole:  Clifton Manor in Calgary, one of many long-term care facilities hit hard by COVID-19.


© Provided by Calgary Herald
Clifton Manor in Calgary, one of many long-term care facilities hit hard by COVID-19.

The Alberta government is pledging to expand long-term care supports after reporting another 26 COVID-19 deaths in the province on Tuesday.

Premier Jason Kenney said the first shipment of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines have arrived in Alberta after receiving Health Canada approval. The initial 16,900 doses will jumpstart critical immunization of long-term care and supportive living residents.

“As more shipments of both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines arrive in early January, immunization will focus on residents of long-term care and designated supportive living facilities, followed by seniors aged 75 and over and First Nations on reserve, Inuit and on-settlement Metis individuals aged 65 and over,” said Kenney.

Read more.

‘I feel helpless’: AgeCare Skypointe now linked to more than 200 COVID-19 cases, 19 deaths



a house covered in snow:  AgeCare Skypointe has seen more than 200 COVID-19 cases.


© Provided by Calgary Herald
AgeCare Skypointe has seen more than 200 COVID-19 cases.

Family members of Calgarians with dementia say they feel helpless amid a COVID-19 outbreak that has infected more than 200 residents and staff members at a northeast supportive-living facility.

According to an update from AgeCare Skypointe sent to family members Saturday, 124 residents of the facility have now tested positive for the novel coronavirus, with 40 considered past their infectious period having tested positive more than two weeks ago. Sixteen of those residents have died from the virus.

As well, 89 staff members at the site have tested positive for COVID-19, with 48 considered to have recovered.

“My concern now is my father has this, and he does wander because he has Alzheimer’s, and he’s going to pass this on to someone else’s loved one,” said Joy Bowen-Eyre.

say they feel helpless amid a COVID-19 outbreak

Frustration mounts over pace of Alberta COVID-19 vaccinations



a hand holding a cellphone:  Lois Edey, a registered nurse in Calgary, prepares a COVID-19 vaccine for a health-care worker on Dec. 15, 2020.


© Provided by Calgary Herald
Lois Edey, a registered nurse in Calgary, prepares a COVID-19 vaccine for a health-care worker on Dec. 15, 2020.

Alarm and frustration is building over what some say is the slow pace of COVID-19 vaccinations in Alberta.

Two weeks ago, Health Minister Tyler Shandro said 29,000 doses of vaccine would be administered to front-line health care workers and long term care residents by the end of the year.

But on Monday, only 6,016 Albertans had received the vaccine, said Alberta chief medical health officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw, who noted the shots weren’t provided Christmas Day and won’t be on New Year’s Day.

A week ago, Shandro said the province had received more than 29,000 Pfizer-BioNTech doses since Dec. 14 and described their roll-out as “off to a strong start.”

But some in the medical community say they’re troubled by the speed of those vaccinations.

Read more .





© Provided by Calgary Herald


Poll suggests low levels of satisfaction with Prairie premiers over handling of pandemic



Jason Kenney wearing a suit and tie and holding a sign:  Premier Jason Kenney in Edmonton on Wednesday, Dec, 2, 2020.


© Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta
Premier Jason Kenney in Edmonton on Wednesday, Dec, 2, 2020.

A new poll suggests the premiers of Canada’s three Prairie provinces are lagging counterparts from the rest of the country when it comes to how local residents feel they are managing the COVID-19 pandemic.

The poll from Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies found 30 per cent of respondents in Alberta were satisfied with the job Premier Jason Kenney was doing when it comes to COVID-19 — the lowest level of satisfaction for Canada’s 10 provincial leaders.

Kenney has faced criticism in recent weeks for resisting calls to impose lockdowns even as Alberta contended with a surge of new infections, which at one point saw it have more active cases than Ontario.

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister, whose province has also been battered by new infections during the second wave of COVID-19, fared slightly better than Kenney with 31 per cent of provincial respondents approving of his management of the pandemic.

Premier Jason Kenney’s approval rating was sitting at 30 per cent .

Dividends still went out even after soldiers marched in to long-term care homes



a group of people in military uniforms:  A staff member escorts members of the Canadian Armed Forces in to a long-term care home, in Pickering, Ont., on April 25, 2020.


© THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
A staff member escorts members of the Canadian Armed Forces in to a long-term care home, in Pickering, Ont., on April 25, 2020.

In the spring, Sienna Senior living needed military support in two of its overwhelmed long-term care homes where COVID-19 was surging, but even though soldiers were marching in, the company still paid out $45 million to its shareholders.

Sienna is a publicly traded company that runs dozens of long-term care homes and retirement residences in Ontario and British Columbia. During the spring, two of its homes required military support; Altamont Care Community where 53 people have died and Woodbridge Vista Care Community where 31 people died.

In a report that was made public in the spring, military officers detailed appalling conditions at Altamont, including patients receiving meals late and not receiving three meals a day. When the military first arrived, they reported, some residents had been bed bound for weeks. Staff were overworked and under-resourced with personal support workers expected to cover 30 to 40 patients each on evening shifts.

The military pegged the overall cost of its COVID operations at $418 million, but that includes support for the public health agency’s warehouses, as well as the deployment to dozens of long-term care homes, seven in Ontario and another 47 in Quebec.

According to a spokesperson, for the complete operation the forces called up 9,711 reservists, at a cost of $207.8 million. The military spent another $34.2 million on travel, medical equipment, PPE and training.

Read more .