COVID-19 data, along with new comments from health officials and politicians, are prompting questions about when Alberta will relaunch its economy and if some places will open sooner than others.
New COVID-19 cases in Edmonton have been declining since a peak in early April.
It is difficult to interpret a graph in the midst of drawing it, but a professor of infectious disease at the University of Alberta says the graph is nice to see.
“Our numbers are not going up fairly quickly,” said Dr. Stephanie Smith. “So I think that is encouraging. I think we can be encouraged by that.”
On March 31, Edmonton saw 39 new cases of COVID-19. For the first week of April, new cases dropped off a bit but stayed close to that March 31 peak.
However, since then, there have only been a handful of days with new cases in the double-digits.
Calgary’s curve looks different. Cases have been trending up since the first one was discovered.
The Calgary zone is dealing with multiple outbreaks in long-term care centres and the outbreak at the Cargill meatpacking plan in High River is considered to be in the Calgary zone.
Even though Calgary’s numbers are significantly higher than Edmonton’s, both regions are well below case counts and deaths found in the province’s probable modelling released two weeks ago.
As encouraging as some of these numbers are, Smith says the differences between regions likely mean Alberta is not able to move towards an economic relaunch right now.
“I think maybe we’re not quite there yet given the situation in Calgary, and we can’t really restrict movement within the province all that well,” she said.
Still, some are wondering if it is possible to gradually reopen areas of Alberta while keeping other places closed.
Nationally, Canada’s chief public health officer says she and her provincial colleagues are working on a checklist for provinces looking to reopen.
Dr. Theresa Tam says provinces ought to “tread very carefully” but every jurisdiction will likely act differently.
“Different kinds of epidemics are going across the country,” she said. “So the timing of the measures or changes in what happens, there may be some variations on that.”
That individualized relaunch has some local businesses hoping that could mean different timelines in different parts of the provinces. Michelle Cairns owns a Snap Fitness in south Edmonton. The gym has been closed since March 17.
“[It’s been] really stressful,” she said. “The not knowing — seeing the updates day by day and not really knowing where we are, where we’re headed — it’s stressful.
“As a business owner, yes, I’d like to see things start to open sooner rather than later.”
But she has some health questions.
“How do you stop people from moving region to region,” Cairns said. “I think that the people who are antsy will go from region to region.”
Smith isn’t sure provinces will create different rules for different cities, but she does say the health system might make some changes.
Right now, elective surgeries are cancelled across the province to free up staff and space for COVID-19 patients.
“If Edmonton continues on this path, should we restart more elective surgeries?” Smith asked.
Premier Jason Kenney also addressed when the province might start loosening the public health restrictions. He says a committee will meet this week and he expects more details on Alberta’s relaunch strategy next week.
“I know this is getting increasingly difficult for Albertans, but I do believe with the progress we’ve made, we can see light at the end of the tunnel here,” he said.
However, Kenney added Alberta won’t rush a relaunch. While the province’s efforts to fight COVID-19 appear to be succeeding, moving too soon could prove fatal.
“If we let the virus loose,” Kenney said, “we would lose the value of all the sacrifices we have made to date.”
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
NBA’s Adam Silver addresses racial tensions in staff memo – Sportsnet.ca
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver sent a memo to the league’s staffers Sunday night to address the latest racial tensions in the country, sparked most recently by the death last week of a black man who was in handcuffs when a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into his neck as he pleaded that he couldn’t breathe.
Silver’s memo, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, made reference to that Minneapolis man, George Floyd — as well as Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man chased and killed by armed white men as he jogged through a south Georgia neighbourhood, and Breonna Taylor, a black emergency medical worker who was fatally shot by police serving a narcotics search warrant in Kentucky.
“Just as we are fighting a pandemic, which is impacting communities and people of colour more than anyone else, we are being reminded that there are wounds in our country that have never healed,” Silver wrote in the memo.
Silver told staff in the memo that he spent the weekend watching the coverage of protests around the country, adding that he was “heartened by the many members of the NBA and WNBA family … speaking out to demand justice, urging peaceful protest and working for meaningful change.”
He also urged league office employees to participate in what’s called the Dream In Color virtual community conversation — an internal employee resource group focused on African-Americans and the issues they face.
“This moment also requires greater introspection from those of us, including me, who may never know the full pain and fear many of our colleagues and players experience every day,” Silver wrote. “We have to reach out, listen to each other and work together to be part of the solution. And as an organization, we need to do everything in our power to make a meaningful difference. Even in this sad and difficult time, I know we can.”
Video: Jon Jones shuts down vandalism during protests in Albuquerque – MMA Fighting
Jon Jones had quite the memorable day on Sunday.
As the day began, Jones told the world he was going to vacate the UFC light heavyweight title. Right before it ended, he took to the streets of Albuquerque, N.M. to do his part against those trying to vandalize the city in the wake of a Minneapolis police officer taking the life of George Floyd.
In an Instagram video posted from his Instagram account, Jones is shown walking around the downtown area demanding that people hand over their spray cans.
The protests began peacefully on Sunday before turning violent overnight. Local news station KRQE reported that protestors began smashing windows of local businesses and started lighting fires in the middle of Central and 3rd Street.
Members of the Albuquerque Police Department arrived on the scene in riot gear, and on horseback, to attempt to block off streets and restore peace in the area.
Jones spoke with KRQE and urged residents to stay home.
“We live here, we all live here and that’s just what doesn’t make sense,” Jones said. “We live here, we’ve got to go eat at these same restaurants tomorrow, we have to take our kids for a walk and see the inappropriate gestures and words written all over the walls.”
“Bones” is in the middle of a heated battle with the UFC and Dana White in regards to booking a heavyweight clash with Francis Ngannou. White has claimed that Jones asked for “Deontay Wilder money” for the fight to take place—upwards of $30 million—while the 32-year-old refutes those claims.
Sources told MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin that Jones is “serious” about vacating the title. In fact, the Jackson Wink MMA star suggested the UFC book a fight between Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz for the vacant 205-pound title.
Video shows Jon Jones confront vandals during George Floyd protest in Albuquerque – MMA Junkie
UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones might not be planning to compete in the octagon anytime soon, but that didn’t stop him from fighting crime in his hometown.
The death of George Floyd, an African-American man who died last week after a white Minneapolis police officer subdued him with his knee to his neck for nearly nine minutes, has sparked protests in cities across the U.S., many of which have led to looting and the destruction of property.
On Sunday night, civil unrest hit Albuquerque, N.M., which Jones calls home. In a <a href=”
Last week after the Floyd incident went viral, Jones was among the first prominent professional athletes to express outrage over what was captured on video, calling for “nationwide policy change.” Jones made it clear Sunday, though, that he doesn’t support the chaos as the means of obtaining it.
“Is this sh*t even about George Floyd anymore?!?” he wrote in a caption with his Instagram video. “Why the f*ck are you punk ass teenagers destroying our cities!?? As a young black man trust me I’m frustrated as well but this is not the way, we are starting to make a bad situation worse. If you really got love for your city (505), protect your sh*t. All you old heads need to speak up, call your young family members and tell them to come home tonight.”
Jones’ actions come as he’s currently in a public feud with UFC president Dana White after being denied a pay increase for a potential superfight with heavyweight contender Francis Ngannou. That has led Jones to announce he’s relinquishing his 205-pound title, though it remains to be seen how the UFC responds.
NBA’s Adam Silver addresses racial tensions in staff memo – Sportsnet.ca
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