Live COVID-19 Updates: Calgary Coronavirus News for April 20

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

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Tuesday

Canada to keep mask mandate for travelers after judge overturns US rule

Passengers at the nearly empty departures level of Montreal's Trudeau International Airport on December 17, 2021.
Passengers at the nearly empty departures level of Montreal’s Trudeau International Airport on December 17, 2021. Photo by Pierre Obendrauf/Postmedia/File

TORONTO — Canada’s federal government said Tuesday it has no plans to stop requiring masks on planes after a Florida judge struck down a US version of the law.

“We are taking a layered approach to keeping travelers safe, and masks remain an incredibly useful tool in our arsenal against COVID-19,” a spokesperson for Canada’s transport minister wrote in an email.

The spokesperson confirmed that masks will be mandatory on Canadian airlines and on flights to or from Canada. The federal government also requires travelers to wear masks and track close contacts for 14 days after arriving in Canada.

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Tuesday

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National Defense says fewer unvaccinated soldiers have been kicked out of the military than expected

The Canadian Armed Forces require all members to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or face dismissal.
The Canadian Armed Forces require all members to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or face dismissal.

The Department of National Defense says fewer soldiers have been deported for refusing to be vaccinated than previously reported.

Defense officials told The Canadian Press in early February that 58 members of the Canadian Armed Forces had been forced to hang up their uniforms after refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

But Defense Ministry spokesman Daniel Le Bouthillier says the number was provided in error and only 39 were released involuntarily, with 206 more being deported.

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Tuesday

Convoy leader Pat King charged with perjury and obstruction of justice

Pat King, an organizer of the truck convoy demonstration in Ottawa.
Pat King, an organizer of the truck convoy demonstration in Ottawa. Picture by Facebook

Ottawa motorcade protest organizer Pat King is now facing charges of perjury and obstruction of justice as he tries to secure his release from prison.

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King was arrested Feb. 18 on charges related to his participation in the three-week protest against COVID-19 restrictions that took to the streets of Ottawa.

On Wednesday last week, King appeared in court for a bail review so his lawyers could argue for his release pending trial.

The following day, the Crown announced that it would bring charges of perjury and obstruction of justice against King.

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Tuesday

“We should be able to handle:” provinces seeing an increase in COVID hospitalizations

Dr. Eddy Lang, Professor and Department Head of Emergency Medicine at the University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine and Chief of Emergency Medicine for AHS in the Calgary Zone.
Dr. Eddy Lang, Professor and Department Head of Emergency Medicine at the University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine and Chief of Emergency Medicine for AHS in the Calgary Zone. Photo courtesy of Dr. Eddy Lang

Hospitals across Canada are dealing with a resurgence of COVID-19 patients that some health officials say will likely continue for another month.

The latest data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows that hospitalizations due to COVID-19 increased by approximately 18% in Canada between April 4 and April 11, from 5,109 to 6,020 people requiring beds.

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The latest data available from the provinces shows that Quebec had 2,220 people hospitalized and Ontario 1,301. There were 1,053 hospitalizations in Alberta, 403 in Saskatchewan, 158 in Manitoba and 59 in Nova Scotia.

Dr. Eddy Lang, head of the department of emergency medicine in Calgary for Alberta Health Services, said his province is in its sixth wave of the pandemic fueled by the BA.2 subvariant of Omicron, but it’s not as dramatic as the original Omicron push. .

“Nobody in the health sector would support the ‘let it rip’ approach, but in terms of hospitalization capacity, we’re not seeing the same pressure in our critical care capacity as we have with ( the Delta variant) and we should be able to handle it,” Lang said Monday.

He said sewage analysis and data from the UK suggest hospitalizations could start to level off in mid-May.

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Tuesday

A quarter of Canadians have been infected with COVID-19, poll finds

People walk inside Yorkdale Shopping Center in Toronto in November 2020.
People walk inside Yorkdale Shopping Center in Toronto in November 2020. Photo by CARLOS OSORIO /Reuters

Nearly one in four Canadian respondents to a new online poll said they had been infected with COVID-19, while about three in four had not.

As the country grapples with its sixth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and less data is shared with the public, the poll by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies offers a picture of how many people have been infected. .

Christian Bourque, executive vice president of Leger, said it was notable that the reported infection rate was higher than official data suggested.

Thirty percent of respondents aged 18 to 34 said they had been infected with COVID-19, while 12% of those aged 55 and over had contracted the disease.

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“What was really striking was the age difference,” Bourque said.

“That seems to fit the patterns we’re seeing, which is that the more social you are – going out to restaurants, bars and concerts – makes you a bit more susceptible to illness.”

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Tuesday

Moderna says dual-variant booster with Beta is more effective against Omicron than current shot

Moderna Inc said on Tuesday that a COVID-19 booster designed to target the beta variant as well as the original coronavirus generated an improved immune response against a number of virus variants, including Omicron.

Moderna said the findings are a good sign for the company’s plans for future plans targeting two variants of COVID-19.

Dr. Jacqueline Miller, a senior Moderna scientist, said the company has no immediate plans to seek approval for the bivalent vaccine, including the beta variant. It will submit the data to the US Food and Drug Administration to lay the groundwork for a future bivalent vaccine candidate that includes the Omicron variant as a target.

The company said the bivalent vaccine with Beta generated higher neutralizing antibody titers against the Omicron variant one and six months after injection than the booster of its original vaccine currently in use.

The company said it was particularly encouraging that the bivalent vaccine induced higher antibody responses against variants that were not specifically included in the vaccine.

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