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COVID-19 Live Updates: News on coronavirus in Calgary for March 13 – Calgary Herald

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Watch this page throughout the day for updates on COVID-19 in Calgary.

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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

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

Postmedia is looking to speak with people who may have been impacted by COVID-19 here in Alberta.  Have you undergone a travel-related quarantine? Have you received your vaccine, and if so did you feel any side effects? Have you changed your life for the better because of the pandemic? Send us an email at reply@calgaryherald.com to tell us your experience, or send us a message via this form.

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



Calgary pharmacies offering COVID-19 vaccine

This map shows all 48 Calgary pharmacies that are offering the COVID-19 vaccine. Appointments are still necessary and can be booked by contacting the participating pharmacies. Details on eligibility and booking can be found here.


Alberta reaching the end of its AstraZeneca doses

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Dr. Deena Hinshaw said the province will not expand the age eligibility of the Covishield/AstraZeneca vaccine as current supplies dwindle.

In a release, the province said eligible Albertans are encouraged to book online or through 811 until 4 p.m. tomorrow. After that, any remaining doses will be available through 811.

According to the release, openings in Calgary and Edmonton are becoming limited, but there are more available vaccines in regional and rural areas.

Alberta received 58.500 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in its first shipment. More are anticipated “this spring.”


474 new cases and 5 new deaths

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AHS vaccine booking portal down temporarily Saturday

Alberta Health Service’s online vaccine booking portal was down early Saturday as eligibility expanded to those born in 1961.

By 10 a.m., AHS was reporting the online system problem was resolved.

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Friday

AstraZeneca eligibility expands further

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Friday

Braid: UCP in polling dumps but pandemic recovery could spark reversal of fortune

Premier Jason Kenney speaks at a press conference at Crowfoot CO-OP on March 2, 2021.
Premier Jason Kenney speaks at a press conference at Crowfoot CO-OP on March 2, 2021. Photo by Azin Ghaffari/Postmedia

Columnist Don Braid writes:

No matter how you look at the opinion polls, it’s obvious that Premier Jason Kenney’s UCP government is deep in the tank.

A Leger poll done for Postmedia shows the NDP ahead among decided voters by 40 per cent to 20 per cent.

This may not be nearly as dramatic as it looks, because the poll also shows a large cluster of undecided voters, many of whom are leaning toward the UCP.

But there’s no denying the depth of UCP woes. Leger shows the UCP trailing the NDP in Edmonton, which is expected, but also in Calgary and the rest of the province.

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Friday

Bishops ‘clarify’ earlier message, now say Catholics can receive any COVID vaccine available to them

A vial of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
A vial of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. Photo by Jack Boland/Postmedia

Canadian Catholics may in good conscience receive any COVID-vaccine that is available to them, even if it was developed using cell lines from an aborted human fetus, according to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

This clarification for the faithful follows the confusing uproar over an earlier statement that Catholics should “prefer” the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines because, although “unethically-derived” cell lines may have used in final testing, the connection to abortion is “extremely remote.”

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Friday

Alberta hits single-day vaccination record Thursday as AstraZeneca gathers momentum

Alberta Health workers handle a shipment of AstraZeneca vaccine on March 9, 2021, in this photo on Health Minister Tyler Shandro’s Twitter account.
Alberta Health workers handle a shipment of AstraZeneca vaccine on March 9, 2021, in this photo on Health Minister Tyler Shandro’s Twitter account. Photo by Twitter

Alberta administered 15,805 shots of COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, setting a new high mark for jabs given in a single day.

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The record bests the previous high, set Feb. 25, by more than 4,000 shots. It coincides with the start of inoculations using the AstraZeneca vaccine for those born after 1957 with no serious health conditions.

Through end-of-day Thursday, Alberta has given 333,379 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, with 91,470 Albertans fully immunized after receiving both necessary shots.

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Friday

COVID-19 immunization centre for Indigenous seniors opening Monday in Calgary

Elder Ernie Poundmaker, with The Aboriginal Friendship Centre of Calgary and Beth Woytas, director of programs with OKAKI health intelligence, at a press conference at Canada’s first Indigenous COVID-19 immunization clinic on Friday.
Elder Ernie Poundmaker, with The Aboriginal Friendship Centre of Calgary and Beth Woytas, director of programs with OKAKI health intelligence, at a press conference at Canada’s first Indigenous COVID-19 immunization clinic on Friday. Photo by Azin Ghaffari/Postmedia

A first-of-its-kind immunization clinic for Indigenous seniors is set to administer COVID-19 jabs beginning Monday in a “safe, comfortable and familiar” space for community members who might have otherwise been apprehensive to get vaccinated.

The clinic, located in the Circle of Wisdom Elders and Seniors Centre in Sunalta, launched Friday thanks to a partnership between multiple Indigenous-focused organizations, including the Aboriginal Friendship Centre of Calgary (AFCC), Siksika Health Services, OKAKI and Seven Brothers Circle.

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Friday

Inside the complicated battle to save Alberta’s live music venues

Calgary musician Eve Hell is lobbying the government to lift restrictions on live music.
Calgary musician Eve Hell is lobbying the government to lift restrictions on live music. Photo by Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia

As the province begins to slowly reopen after the latest lockdown and round of COVID-19 restrictions, owners of for-profit live venues are sounding the alarm about the lack of a coherent, long-term economic recovery plan specific to the live music and touring industry. A recent report released by Alberta-based West Anthem suggests the industry is worth $3 billion and employs nearly 21,000 people.

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Friday

425 new cases, two deaths

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Alberta COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths

A COVID-19 information sign outside the Foothills Hospital in Calgary.
A COVID-19 information sign outside the Foothills Hospital in Calgary. Photo by Gavin Young/Postmedia/File

Friday

Telus Spark selling tickets in anticipation of Step 3 of province’s reopening plan

The Telus Spark science centre in Calgary.
The Telus Spark science centre in Calgary. Postmedia Archives

Telus Spark is selling tickets with plans to reopen on March 25.

That’s the earliest the science centre could reopen if Alberta moves ahead with Step 3 of its reopening plan.

Telus Spark will require masks indoors for everyone over the age of two and will be selling timed tickets to help aid with social distancing.

If Step 3 is delayed, Telus Spark will issue full refunds for tickets.

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3 Ways to Incorporate CBD Into Your Spring Wellness Plan

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Canada’s cannabis market has grown significantly since it first became legal in 2018 — when the federal government legalized the plant for recreational use. Since that time, the market has developed into a variety of avenues. From edibles to beverages and beyond, the number of legal products available continues to grow.

As spring weather takes over from the cold winter months, there is an opportunity for novice and experienced CBD users to incorporate this newly legal plant into their diets and wellness routines. Let’s take a look at three popular ways to incorporate CBD into your spring diet.

1.   Food & Drink

The food and beverages we consume have a significant impact on our overall health and wellness. The incorporation of edibles is one of the fastest-growing avenues of legal CBD production in Canada. Consumers are gravitating towards the discretionary and efficiency functions of edibles.

As more licenced businesses begin to set up shop across the country, the variety of products available shows genuine promise — whether it’s with gummies or a sweet chamomile herbal tea, this is where Canada’s entrepreneurs are shining.

The CBD properties in edibles are becoming a go-to for many consumers looking to regulate their appetites, improve muscle function, and treat mood irregularities. Incorporating CBD into your spring diet may be a gradual process, particularly if you’re new to the experience. The easiest way to experiment is with the smallest dosage recommended and gauge your body’s reaction — as time goes on, you may be able to incorporate a higher dosage into your food or drink.

2.   Improving Sleep

Developing a healthy sleep pattern is a crucial part of your mental and physical health. The conversation around CBD and improved sleep is ongoing, though it shows promise. Since CBD is a non-psychoactive compound of the cannabis plant, it could offer therapeutic benefits without the attached high that comes with the same plant’s THC compounds.

Oils are one of the most popular ways to incorporate CBD into a sleeping ritual — consumers can choose to add the oil directly to their skin or add a few droplets to their diffusers while they sleep. The way the CBD compound reacts to the body’s serotonin receptors and the brain’s receptors is continuously studied. Consumers can use the available research and reports to decide whether adding CBD to their nighttime routine is the right choice for their lifestyle.

3.   Fitness Routine

Incorporating CBD has been a growing fundamental practice for anyone looking to improve their physical fitness. We know CBD is one of the many chemical compounds found in cannabinoids. Still, Cannabinoids actually exist in our bodies via our endocannabinoid system — which is known to regulate various functions in our body from appetite and mood to sleep and memory.

For those looking to add a therapeutic remedy to their active lifestyle, topical CBD products could be the answer. Massage oil or body cream has the potential to improve circulation, reduce muscle tension, and aid in the recovery of soft tissue injuries.

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Rogers Communications revenue boosted by cable power

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(Reuters) -Canadian telecoms operator Rogers Communications Inc trumped first-quarter revenue estimates on Wednesday, buoyed by strong demand in its cable unit that provides internet and cloud-based services.

Total revenue rose 2% to C$3.49 billion ($2.77 billion) in the quarter, compared with analysts’ average estimate of C$3.35 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Telecom providers have benefited from a surge in demand for high-speed internet from the COVID-19 pandemic caused shift to remote working and entertainment.

Revenue from the media segment, which includes television, radio broadcasting and digital media, rose 7% to C$440 million, boosted by the return of live professional sports broadcasting.

Cable service revenue increased 5% during the quarter.

Rogers, which is looking to expand its 5G infrastructure, said in March it was buying Canadian telecom services provider Shaw Communications Inc for about C$20 billion ($16.02 billion).

However, the company’s wireless service reported a 6% drop in revenue, hit by lower roaming revenue from fresh pandemic-induced travel curbs.

Net income rose to C$361 million, or 70 Canadian cents per share, from C$352 million, or 68 Canadian cents, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 77 Canadian cents per share, while analysts had expected 66 Canadian cents.

U.S.-listed shares of Rogers, which did not provide second-quarter forecast due to pandemic-led uncertainty, rose nearly 1% in low pre-market trading volumes.

($1 = 1.2596 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Sriraj Kalluvila)

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Canadian National challenges Canadian Pacific with $33.7 billion Kansas City bid

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By Shreyasee Raj

(Reuters) -Canadian National said on Tuesday it had offered to buy Kansas City Southern railroad for about $33.7 billion, and shares of U.S. company soared as investors anticipated a potential bidding war with Canadian Pacific.

Canadian Pacific had agreed a deal to acquire Kansas City Southern for about $25 billion last month. Either combination would create a North American railway spanning the United States, Mexico and Canada as supply chains recover from being disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The acquisition interest in Kansas City Southern also follows the ratification of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement last year, that removed the threat of trade tensions which had escalated under former U.S. President Donald Trump.

Kansas City said it would evaluate Canadian National’s offer. If it found it could lead to a better deal, Canadian Pacific will be given the opportunity to raise its bid.

Canadian National’s cash-and-stock offer, worth $325 per share, is at a 26.8% premium to Kansas City Southern’s offer as of Monday’s trading close.

“We are surprised by this move given the healthy valuation Canadian Pacific had already offered to Kansas City Southern shareholders,” Stephens analyst Justin Long wrote in a note to clients.

Kansas City Southern shares rose 15.8% to $297.12, indicating most investors deemed it unlikely the company would stick with Canadian Pacific’s offer.

One investor that took a different view is Chilton Investment Co, which has a less than 1% stake in Kansas City Southern. Citing regulatory hurdles, it said it preferred a deal with Canadian Pacific.

“There’s more overlap with Canadian National deal which makes it harder to get (regulatory) approval. The Surface Transportation Board (STB) doesn’t like overlap,” Chilton CEO Richard Chilton said.

Canadian National CEO Jean-Jacques Ruest said his network and that of Kansas City Southern are “highly complementary networks with limited overlap.” They only run parallel for 65 miles, between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

Kansas City Southern has domestic and international rail operations in North America, focused on the north-south freight corridor connecting commercial and industrial markets in the central United States with industrial cities in Mexico. Calgary-based Canadian Pacific is Canada’s No. 2 railroad operator, behind Canadian National.

The STB updated its merger regulations in 2001 to introduce a requirement that Class I railways have to show a deal is in the public interest. Yet it provided an exemption to Kansas City Southern given its small size, potentially limiting the scrutiny that its acquisition will be subjected to.

Canadian Pacific agreed in its negotiations with Kansas City Southern to bear most of the risk of the deal not going through. It will buy Kansas City Southern shares and place them in an independent voting trust, insulating the acquisition target from its control until the STBLatest clears the deal. Were the STB to reject the combination, Canadian Pacific would have to sell the shares of Kansas City Southern, but the current Kansas City Southern shareholders would keep their proceeds.

Canadian National said it was willing to match these terms. It said its offer does not require approval from its own shareholders because of how much cash it has, eliminating a condition in Canadian Pacific’s offer.

Bill Gates’ Cascade Investment, which is Canadian National’s biggest investor with a 14.25% stake, said it fully supports the combination.

A private equity consortium led by Blackstone Group Inc and Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) made an unsuccessful offer last year to acquire Kansas City Southern. But it was Canadian Pacific’s announcement of a deal with Kansas City Southern that spurred Canadian National into action, as it raised the prospect of losing out to its rival, according to people familiar with the matter.

(Reporting by Shreyasee Raj and Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli, Anil D’Silva and David Gregorio)

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