City of Calgary COVID-19 update April 8
The City of Calgary has extended the State of Local Emergency with orders to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The City held a media availability earlier today with Mayor Naheed Nenshi, Calgary Emergency Management Agency Chief Tom Sampson, Sharon Howland, Leader of Program Management with Waste & Recycling Services and Troy McLeod, Director of Roads.
“The virus is now responsible for taking the lives of 17 Calgarians,” said Mayor Nenshi in his opening remarks. “No matter how many times I say that this will not be the last update on our losses, it never hurts any less.”
Below are the latest updates from today’s media availability:
State of Local Emergency extended
The City would like to remind citizens that we remain in a State of Local Emergency. This order was extended by seven days today in support of the Province of Alberta’s efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Reaction to Provincial forecasting
Today, The City responded to modelling done by Alberta Health Services that said by end of summer, Alberta could see as many as 800,000 infections, and between 400 and 3,100 deaths.
“I know some of the numbers we heard from The Province last night are frightening and sobering but this thing is in our hands now – we can slow this virus down,” said Sampson.
The City asked youth in particular to practice physically distancing. “We see you still out there hanging out with your friends. Let me be your parent for a minute – you have a whole life in front of you… don’t throw that away by taking unnecessary risks.”
Recommending non-medical masks
Following up on recommendations from both the Federal and Provincial governments, The City is now also recommending the use of non-medial masks or covering your face in crowded public spaces.
The City says while choosing to wear a mask is an individual decision, people should consider it if they are planning to attend a congested space. This includes any area where you are not able to keep a 6-foot distance from others.
“But wearing a mask in public does not mean you do not need to practice other health measures, like physical distancing and handwashing,” said Sampson.
Safely disposing of PPE
The City has received reports of people disposing of protective masks and gloves by tossing them on the ground. The City is asking that citizens throw them in the trash after use - do not place them in the recycling.
Free 30-minute Parking Zone changes
To help local businesses and customers during the COVID-19 pandemic, starting on April 9, all paid on-street parking zones will allow for a grace period of up to 30 minutes at no cost to the customer. Learn more by visiting the Short-term Parking Zone change webpage.
Transit station closures
Calgary Transit has introduced a new program to close the station buildings of Victoria Park/Stampede, Erlton, Anderson, Heritage and Southland Station from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. This is being done to help reduce the number of people gathering in our station buildings. The City hopes this will encourage physical distancing while on transit and help keep our system safe. Peace Officers will continue to patrol the system and the security team is proactively monitoring over 1,200 cameras on the system.
Waste collection changes
There are changes to waste collection to maintain service for Calgarians while keeping collectors safe and healthy by reducing interactions with the public and limiting contact with various surfaces. These changes include no extra bags of waste left outside of the bins will be picked up, green cart collection will remain at once every two weeks and some changes in collection days. Please visit calgary.ca/collection to check your collection schedule.
“As you can imagine, Waste & Recycling Services, like other City services are facing staffing challenges with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. We do not have the extra resources, trucks or drivers at this time,” said Sharon Howland, Leader of Program Management with Waste & Recycling Services
Easter bunny expected in Calgary
Today, Mayor Nenshi made the exciting announcement to all kids that the Easter Bunny has been deemed an essential service.
“But this long weekend, we want everyone to enjoy their traditions – even if that means doing them differently in order to be safe. Have an Easter egg hunt, or a treasure hunt in your home and yard.”
Community giving and donations
Today, Mayor Nenshi announced his joint-campaign with Arlene Dickinson to raise funds for the Calgary Food Bank has raised over $200,000 in the last three days. He also highlighted a number of other programs being run to assist those in need. For more information, visit the Access to Food webpage on Calgary.ca.
The media are reminded that this will be the last COVID media update this week as our regular scheduled one on Friday has been cancelled for Good Friday.
For more information, visit Calgary.ca/covid19