Canada: COVID-19 Update: 'The news we all wanted' | Restrictions to be lifted on Canada Day | Second doses ramped up

Britney Spears's life in pictures

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a group of people sitting at a bus stop:  Customers separated by plexiglass on the patio at the Cold Garden Beverage Company in Inglewood on April 30, 2021. © Provided by Calgary Herald Customers separated by plexiglass on the patio at the Cold Garden Beverage Company in Inglewood on April 30, 2021.

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

  • Anyone who received their vaccine in May can now book their second dose.
  • Premier Jason Kenney said the province will reopen on Canada Day, July 1, after the province hit the 70 per cent first dose threshold.
  • Canada said Friday it will extend restrictions that bar non-essential travel at U.S. land borders until at least July 21.
  • Nashville North will return to the Stampede this year with a canopy-style tent and lineup of 40 country music artists.
  • A Calgary tech developer is hoping to ease Canadians’ international and domestic travel plans with an app that securely streamlines COVID-19 test and vaccine data.
  • The province has added 40 travel-related prizes to the vaccine lottery, including flights for two to Cancun.
  • The Calgary Expo will go ahead this fall with a limited capacity of 25,000 attendees.
  • The Calgary Folk Festival is announcing a limited series of concerts in late July, in lieu of the usual weekend festival.

‘We will be open for good’: Restrictions to be lifted on Canada Day, says Kenney

a close up of a woman wearing a hat and sunglasses:  Becca Buist, left, and Kendra Hogg are thrilled with the idea that mandatory masks may soon be a thing of the past. © Provided by Calgary Herald Becca Buist, left, and Kendra Hogg are thrilled with the idea that mandatory masks may soon be a thing of the past.

More than 70 per cent of Albertans aged 12 and up have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, allowing the province to remove nearly all public health measures on July 1.

COVID-19 live updates: Quebec working on plan to speed up 2nd doses for AstraZeneca, Moderna recipients, Dubé says

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Premier Jason Kenney announced Friday that 70.2 per cent of the eligible population has gotten their first jab. The province’s reopening plan allows for most major restrictions that have been in place for close to 16 months to be removed two weeks after reaching the 70 per cent threshold.

Kenney said entering Stage 3 of the plan will mean no more restrictions on weddings or funerals, no restrictions on sports, gyms or fitness and no bans on indoor or outdoor gatherings. There will be no restrictions on restaurants, retail spaces or places of worship, Kenney said. A press release issued by the province said some isolation requirements may remain in continuing care settings.

Read more.

Varcoe: Alberta businesses will decide their own COVID-19 rules come July 1

a group of people sitting at a bus stop:  Customers separated by plexiglass on the patio at the Cold Garden Beverage Company in Inglewood on April 30, 2021. © Provided by Calgary Herald Customers separated by plexiglass on the patio at the Cold Garden Beverage Company in Inglewood on April 30, 2021.

Mandatory hand sanitizers at the doorway. Mask directives for staff and customers. Plastic shields between restaurant tables or salon chairs.

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The rules of business have been turned upside down since the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Alberta and public health measures were adopted to stop its spread.

They’re about to change again.

Now, it will largely be up to business operators to decide what procedures are kept in place, and which ones are left behind.

Read more .

Corbella: Open ‘for good’ is the kind of news Albertans spread fast

a woman standing in a room:  Rolanda Anderson, Salon True owner and stylist, poses for a photo on Friday. © Provided by Calgary Herald Rolanda Anderson, Salon True owner and stylist, poses for a photo on Friday.

Good news travels fast.

Within minutes of Premier Jason Kenney’s announcement that Alberta will be opening up “for good” on Canada Day, hard-working small business owners and managers heard the news as if by osmosis and were delighted.

“I have a lot of catching up to do to recover from the lockdowns,” said Rolanda Anderson, the owner-operator of Salon True on 17th Avenue and 9th Street S.W.

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“We all do. Most small business owners have had a really, really hard time so knowing that starting on July 1 we aren’t going to face another shutdown is really a relief but I’m not sure I fully believe it yet,” she said as she coloured the hair of a long-time loyal customer.

Read more.

Kenney says he pushed for faster reopening as Canada-U.S. travel restrictions extended to July 21


Video: Alberta to lift all COVID-19 restrictions on Canada Day (The Canadian Press)

a train crossing a bridge over a body of water:  The Ambassador Bridge to Detroit, Mich., is shown in Windsor, Ont. © Dan Janisse/Postmedia The Ambassador Bridge to Detroit, Mich., is shown in Windsor, Ont.

Travel restrictions at the Canada-U.S. border will remain in place for at least another month.

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair says the American and Canadian governments are extending restrictions on non-essential international travel until July 21.

The decision comes as a disappointment to Adam Legge, president of the Business Council of Alberta, and Premier Jason Kenney says he pushed for a faster reopening during a meeting of first ministers this week.

A look at COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada on Thursday, June 17, 2021

  A look at COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada on Thursday, June 17, 2021 The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 10:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, June 17, 2021. In Canada, the provinces are reporting 490,061 new vaccinations administered for a total of 30,867,925 doses given. Nationwide, 6,004,387 people or 16 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 81,447.266 per 100,000. There were 607,230 new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 33,870,614 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 91.13 per cent of their available vaccine supply. Please note that Newfoundland and Labrador, P.E.I.

Read more.

Where can you go in the U.S. if you got the AstraZeneca shot? Not everywhere

a man standing on a sidewalk:  Springsteen on Broadway resumes on June 26, 2021, in New York City. © ANGELA WEISS/AFP Springsteen on Broadway resumes on June 26, 2021, in New York City.

Canadians who have been dosed with an AstraZeneca shot may not be allowed into some events in the U.S. until the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gives the vaccine the green light.

Rocker Bruce Springsteen is reopening his live Broadway show in New York next week, but fans who want to attend need to show proof that they have been inoculated with vaccines approved by the FD, such as Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson.

Those who received AstraZeneca, yet to be approved for use in the U.S. would not be allowed into the event, setting what may be a disappointing precedent for Canadians looking to attend events in the U.S.

Read more.

Vaccinated youth in Nunavut community to receive $100 gift card

 A medical worker administers a COVID-19 vaccination. © ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images A medical worker administers a COVID-19 vaccination.

Youth in a community that had Nunavut’s biggest outbreak of COVID-19 will each get a $100 gift card if they get a jab this weekend.

Anyone aged 12 to 17 in Arviat can get a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at their local health centre as eligibility for teens continues to roll out in Nunavut through June and July.

Canadiens HC Dominique Ducharme must isolate for 14 days after positive COVID test

  Canadiens HC Dominique Ducharme must isolate for 14 days after positive COVID test Although the NHL has relaxed many rules pertaining to its COVID protocol, a positive test still warrants a 14-day isolation period. Especially when the Canadiens were fortunate enough to not have any other positive tests among its players and staff, the league wants to maintain the health and safety of the team as well as the integrity of its semifinals. © Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports Dominique Ducharme is out for the next two weeks after testing positive for COVID. With that said, losing Ducharme is a blow for Montreal.

Read more.

Public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

a group of people standing next to a person:  Sonia Egron receives a COVID-19 test as son Noah watches in a testing clinic in Montreal on July 16, 2020. © John Mahoney/Postmedia file Sonia Egron receives a COVID-19 test as son Noah watches in a testing clinic in Montreal on July 16, 2020.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant jumped 66 per cent in Canada this week.

Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says as of Friday more than 2,000 cases of the variant have now been confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory. Just three days ago, the Public Health Agency told The Canadian Press there were 1,187 confirmed cases.

The variant was first identified in India but has now become the dominant strain in the United Kingdom where it is spreading rapidly, mostly among unvaccinated people.

Read more.

Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

a group of people in a room:  People line up for a second COVID-19 vaccination shot at a mass clinic in Montreal on June 6, 2021. © Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press/File People line up for a second COVID-19 vaccination shot at a mass clinic in Montreal on June 6, 2021.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promise of a two-dose fall is looking a lot more like it will become a two-dose August.

Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12.

Previously Canada expected enough to fully vaccinate 75 per cent of all eligible people before August, but Moderna has now scheduled another 11 million doses to be delivered in late June and early July.

A look at COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada on Monday, June 21, 2021

  A look at COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada on Monday, June 21, 2021 The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 11:00 p.m. ET on Monday June 21, 2021. In Canada, the provinces are reporting 394,799 new vaccinations administered for a total of 32,566,031 doses given. Nationwide, 7,404,496 people or 20 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 85,927.842 per 100,000. There were 392,420 new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 35,080,350 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 92.83 per cent of their available vaccine supply. Please note that Newfoundland and Labrador, P.E.I.

Read more.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provided an update on his government’s response to the pandemic this morning. You can watch it here:

Pfizer, Moderna COVID vaccines now ‘preferred’ second dose for AstraZeneca recipients: advisory council

a hand holding a cell phone:  A person unpacks a special refrigerated box of the Moderna vaccine. © JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP A person unpacks a special refrigerated box of the Moderna vaccine.

OTTAWA — The National Advisory Committee on Immunization said Thursday people who got the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine as their first dose should get Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna for their second shot.

On June 1, NACI had said AstraZeneca recipients “could” get Pfizer or Moderna for their second shot if they wanted, but Thursday went further to say an mRNA vaccine was the “preferred” choice.

“Since NACI first looked at mixed vaccine schedules, new evidence is starting to emerge suggesting immune responses are better when a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine is followed by an mRNA vaccine as a second dose,” said NACI vice-chair Dr. Shelley Deeks, in the new guidance documents.

Read more.

A look at COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada on Wednesday, June 23, 2021 .
The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 10:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, June 23, 2021. In Canada, the provinces are reporting 516,201 new vaccinations administered for a total of 33,565,223 doses given. Nationwide, 8,273,857 people or 22 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 88,564.283 per 100,000. There were 632,380 new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 37,666,330 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 89.11 per cent of their available vaccine supply. Please note that Newfoundland and Labrador, P.E.I.

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