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COVID-19: Confusion about Step 2 timing in Alberta’s reopening worries businesses like gyms – Global News



COVID-19: Confusion about Step 2 timing in Alberta’s reopening worries businesses like gyms – Global News

Alberta could start Step 2 of the province’s plan to ease restrictions as early as Monday, March 1. That means some businesses could find out that they’re allowed to reopen that very day.

“We know that lead times vary by sector and business,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Tuesday.

“Given that each step in the path forward contains some unique elements, the same notice may not be required for businesses in Step 2, 3 or 4.”

Sectors involved in Step 1, which included restaurants, were given a week’s notice that they’d be allowed to reopen Feb. 8.

Read more:
COVID-19: What you can and cannot do in Alberta on Monday, Feb. 8

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health said provincial officials need the extra time to look at case numbers and where spread is happening before making a decision on Step 2.

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“We did need the additional time to be able to look at the full three weeks of data following the first step to be able to understand what’s happening with our numbers, where is spread happening and if we need to take longer or a more cautious approach going forward,” Hinshaw said.

COVID-19: Hinshaw clarifies answer regarding Step 2 reopening date

COVID-19: Hinshaw clarifies answer regarding Step 2 reopening date

“Recognizing that it is frustrating for businesses, while the decision will be made at the earliest on March 1st, I’m not able to say with certainty exactly when that would be implemented,” she said.

“It could be as early as that same day or it could be that a decision is made with some lag time for businesses to prepare for opening.”

Hinshaw says the R-value, along with the positivity rate in Alberta will help determine whether or not the reopening can go ahead. Hospitalizations must also be below 450 people. As of Tuesday, 326 people were in hospital.

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Read more:
Hinshaw urges caution as restrictions ease and Alberta records 25 new COVID-19 variant cases

While the potential reopening is welcome news to some businesses, many feel the lack of notice could lead to a big scramble.

Alberta businesses have been asking the province for a week’s notice before a decision is made on reopening. It’s crucial for Orangetheory Fitness, so it can prepare all 26 studios in the province.

Click to play video 'COVID-19: Gym owners ask Alberta government for more easing of restrictions'

COVID-19: Gym owners ask Alberta government for more easing of restrictions

COVID-19: Gym owners ask Alberta government for more easing of restrictions – Feb 4, 2021

Orangetheory president Blake MacDonald said the potential lack of heads up could cause lofty expectations for customers wondering why the gym needs more days to get ready.

“High-intensity group fitness studios require time to rehire staff, to get them trained, to put COVID safety protocols in place and so, it’s not easy for us to just turn the lights on and allow patrons to come in,” MacDonald said.

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“I think the more notice, the better.”

MacDonald also said the province’s possible last-minute decision could also cost the franchise thousands of dollars per studio in federal funding.

“Lockdown support is 25 per cent of our rent subsidy today, which can be, for an Orangetheory studio, between $3,000 and $5,000.”

“The day that they actually reopen or announce reopening, we lose our lockdown support for our rent subsidies,” MacDonald said.

READ MORE: COVID-19: Hinshaw says decision on Step 2 of reopening in Alberta won’t be until March 1 or later

A spokesperson for the federal minister of finance told Global News the government’s top priority remains supporting Canadians and businesses. She also explained the only federal support affected by a reopening is the lockdown support. Eligible businesses would still receive rent support.

“That is why we have introduced targeted support to help hard-hit businesses and other organizations experiencing a drop in revenue,” said press secretary Kat Cuplinskas.

“These include the up to 75 per cent wage subsidy; the rent subsidy and lockdown support, which when combined could cover up to 90 per cent of a tenant’s rent; the expanded Canada Emergency Business Account loan; and the new Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program.

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“The federal government will continue to be there for Albertans and all Canadians, as we have been since the start of the pandemic.”

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Federal government announces new rent subsidy support for small businesses'

Coronavirus: Federal government announces new rent subsidy support for small businesses

Coronavirus: Federal government announces new rent subsidy support for small businesses – Nov 23, 2020

Alberta Health said it can’t provide an official decision or more detail on Step 2, except for a potential list of areas that could see eased restrictions.

The Step 2 plan lists retail, banquet halls, community halls, conference centres, hotels and further easing of indoor fitness and children’s sport.

Despite gyms not specifically being listed, MacDonald is confident Orangetheory Fitness is part of the next stage of reopening.

“We’ve been working with an industry liaison group with the Ministry of Health and Economic Development,” he said.

“They’ve been fairly transparent about the fact that we were going to be put into the Stage 2 of reopening.”

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Click to play video '#SaveFitnessAB campaign aims for more financial support, planning amid COVID crisis'

#SaveFitnessAB campaign aims for more financial support, planning amid COVID crisis

#SaveFitnessAB campaign aims for more financial support, planning amid COVID crisis – Feb 8, 2021

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Colon Cancer Rates Have Increased: How Can You Improve Your Gut Health?



Colon Cancer Rates Have Increased: How Can You Improve Your Gut Health?

The majority of colon cancer cases are more common among older citizens. However, research has found that colorectal cancer rates have been rising in healthy people under 50. The rate has increased over the ten years. Medical professionals recommend screening from age 45. A colorectal screening test is done to ensure that the individual does not have any signs of cancer.

A study found that there has been a surge in colorectal cancer in younger generations and could become the dominant cause of cancer-related deaths by 2030. Since the risk is alarming, everyone needs to take their gut health seriously. Here are some things that people can do to improve their well-being.

Consider Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy is a type of colon cleanse that treats digestive issues such as constipation and bloating. Chronic constipation can lead to colon cancer, so it is vital to deal with the issue before it worsens. Colon hydrotherapy is offered at a few places, including a wellness colonic clinic in Toronto where the staff is committed to providing solutions for their clients’ digestive health.

Cleansing your colon can help improve digestion, relieve constipation, reduce gas, rejuvenate skin, and increase energy. The process involves flushing the colon with a large volume of water. It can be beneficial to speak to the professionals at the clinic and discuss your concerns with them. They will educate you about the process and answer any concerns you may have. The treatment can seem overwhelming but can also be helpful for your gut health.

Colon Cancer Rates Have Increased: How Can You Improve Your Gut Health?


Consume Sensibly

Your food intake plays a significant role in your gut health. If you have gut problems, it may be worthwhile to speak to a doctor and change your diet. You should also consider finding out if you have any food intolerance. There may be trigger foods such as oil or dairy that could be causing discomfort.

Even if you do not have any problems with your food consumption, it is never wrong to watch what you eat. Foods with probiotics or high fibre content can be good for you. Eating the right foods can improve your overall health too.

Stay Hydrated

Water almost seems like a magical drink sometimes. From skin problems to digestive issues, it can improve many situations. Consuming a good amount of water every day can balance good bacteria in the gut and promote your health. Hydration can also help your organs function properly and improve cognitive function.

Colon Cancer Rates Have Increased: How Can You Improve Your Gut Health?

Say Goodbye to Extreme Stress

It can be challenging to bid farewell to stress forever. However, chronic high levels of stress can impact your abdomen and your overall health. There is a connection between the brain and gut, and stress can cause your stomach to become anxious.

Long-term stress can trigger several gut problems such as indigestion, constipation, or diarrhea. Look for ways to reduce stress levels so that your gut can remain healthy.

Some health problems are inevitable with age, but you can do your best to stay healthy and deal with any issues you face. Prepare yourself to fight any disease beforehand, and your body will thank you.

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Biden’s vaccine pledge ups pressure on rich countries to give more



Biden to send 20 million doses of U.S.-authorized vaccines abroad for first time

The United States on Thursday raised the pressure on other Group of Seven leaders to share their vaccine hoards to bring an end to the pandemic by pledging to donate 500 million doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine to the world’s poorest countries.

The largest ever vaccine donation by a single country will cost the United States $3.5 billion but Washington expects no quid pro quo or favours for the gift, a senior Biden administration official told reporters.

U.S. President Joe Biden‘s move, on the eve of a summit of the world’s richest democracies, is likely to prompt other leaders to stump up more vaccines, though even vast numbers of vaccines would still not be enough to inoculate all of the world’s poor.

G7 leaders want to vaccinate the world by the end of 2022 to try to halt the COVID-19 pandemic that has killed more than 3.9 million people and devastated the global economy.

A senior Biden administration official described the gesture as a “major step forward that will supercharge the global effort” with the aim of “bringing hope to every corner of the world.” “We really want to underscore that this is fundamentally about a singular objective of saving lives,” the official said, adding that Washington was not seeking favours in exchange for the doses.

Vaccination efforts so far are heavily correlated with wealth: the United States, Europe, Israel and Bahrain are far ahead of other countries. A total of 2.2 billion people have been vaccinated so far out of a world population of nearly 8 billion, based on Johns Hopkins University data.

U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech have agreed to supply the U.S. with the vaccines, delivering 200 million doses in 2021 and 300 million doses in the first half of 2022.

The shots, which will be produced at Pfizer’s U.S. sites, will be supplied at a not-for-profit price.

“Our partnership with the U.S. government will help bring hundreds of millions of doses of our vaccine to the poorest countries around the world as quickly as possible,” said Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Bourla.


Anti-poverty campaign group Oxfam called for more to be done to increase global production of vaccines.

“Surely, these 500 million vaccine doses are welcome as they will help more than 250 million people, but that’s still a drop in the bucket compared to the need across the world,” said Niko Lusiani, Oxfam America’s vaccine lead.

“We need a transformation toward more distributed vaccine manufacturing so that qualified producers worldwide can produce billions more low-cost doses on their own terms, without intellectual property constraints,” he said in a statement.

Another issue, especially in some poor countries, is the infrastructure for transporting the vaccines which often have to be stored at very cold temperatures.

Biden has also backed calls for a waiver of some vaccine intellectual property rights but there is no international consensus yet on how to proceed.

The new vaccine donations come on top of 80 million doses Washington has already pledged to donate by the end of June. There is also $2 billion in funding earmarked for the COVAX programme led by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), the White House said.

GAVI and the WHO welcomed the initiative.

Washington is also taking steps to support local production of COVID-19 vaccines in other countries, including through its Quad initiative with Japan, India and Australia.

(Reporting by Steve Holland in St. Ives, England, Andrea Shalal in Washington and Caroline Copley in Berlin; Writing by Guy Faulconbridge and Keith Weir;Editing by Leslie Adler, David Evans, Emelia Sithole-Matarise, Giles Elgood and Jane Merriman)

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Vaccines donated by the United States and China



COVID-19: Confusion about Step 2 timing in Alberta’s reopening worries businesses like gyms – Global News

Both the United States and China have pledged large donations of COVID-19 vaccines to countries around the world. Washington has promised 80 million doses, three-quarters of which will be delivered via the international vaccine initiative COVAX, in what has been seen as an effort to counter China’s widening vaccine diplomacy. It began deliveries last week.

China had shipped vaccines to 66 countries in the form of aid, according to state news agency Xinhua. Beijing has not disclosed an overall figure for its donations but Reuters calculations based on publicly available data show at least 16.57 million doses have been delivered. China has also pledged to supply 10 million doses to COVAX.

VACCINES DONATED BY U.S. (plan for the first 25 mln):

Regional partners and priority recipients


Including Canada, Mexico, 1 mln to S.Korea in June

South Korea, West Bank and

Gaza, Ukraine, Kosovo,

Haiti, Georgia, Egypt,

Jordan, India, Iraq, Yemen,

United Nations

TOTAL 6 mln 1 mln

Allocations through COVAX

South and Central America


Brazil, Argentina, Colombia,

Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador,

Paraguay, Bolivia,

Guatemala, El Salvador,

Honduras, Panama, Haiti,

Dominican Republic and other

Caribbean Community

(CARICOM) countries

TOTAL 6 mln



India, Nepal, Bangladesh,

Pakistan, Sri Lanka,

Afghanistan, Maldives,

Malaysia, Philippines,

Vietnam, Indonesia,

Thailand, Laos, Papua New

Guinea, Taiwan, and the

Pacific Islands

TOTAL 7 mln



To be selected in

coordination with the

African Union

TOTAL 5 mln

VACCINES DONATED BY CHINA (source – Reuters calculations and official data):

Asia Pacific


Afghanistan 400,000

Bangladesh Second batch of First batch of 500,000 delivered

600,000 on May 12

Brunei 52,000 in Feb

Cambodia 1.7 mln as of April 28

Kyrgyzstan 150,000 in March

Laos 300,000 in Feb

800,000 in late March

300,000 in late April

Maldives 200,000 in early March

Mongolia 300,000 in late February

Myanmar 500,000 in early May

Nepal 800,000 in late March

1 mln in early June

Pakistan 500,000 in early Feb

250,000 in Feb

500,000 in March

Philippines 600,000 in late Feb

400,000 in late March

Sri Lanka 600,000 at end March

500,000 in late May

Thailand 500,000 in May

500,000 in June

Timor-Leste 100,000 100,000 in early June

TOTAL 11.052 million



Angola 200,000 in late March

Algeria 200,000 200,000 in Feb

Botswana 200,000 in April

Cameroon 200,000 in April

Congo 100,000 100,000 in March

Egypt 600,000 in March

Ethiopia 300,000 in late March

Equatorial Guinea 100,000 in Feb

Guinea 200,000 in early March

Mozambique 200,000 in late Feb

Namibia 100,000 by early April

Niger 400,000 in late March

Sierra Leone 240,000 by late May

Togo 200,000 in April

Uganda 300,000

Zimbabwe 200,000 in Feb

200,000 in March

100,000 in May

TOTAL 3.74 million

South America


Bolivia 100,000 in late Feb

100,000 in late March

Venezuela 500,000 in early March

TOTAL 700,000

Europe & Middle East


Belarus 100,000 in Feb

300,000 in May

Georgia 100,000 at end April

Iran 250,000 at end February

Iraq 50,000 in early March

Montenegro 30,000 in early March

North Macedonia 100,000 in May

Syria 150,000 in late April

TOTAL 1.08 million


(Reporting by Roxanne Liu and Ryan Woo in Beijing and Cooper Inveen in Dakar; Additional reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe in Harare, Asif Shahzad in Islamabad, Gopal Sharma in Kathmandu; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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