What you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Saturday, July 25

A cycle club in downtown Calgary is now linked to 42 cases of COVID-19, as other fitness operators weigh options.

Health officials have designated 15 areas in the province as being under a 'watch'

The Alberta government imposed a province-wide mask mandate on Dec. 8. (The Canadian Press)

The latest:

  • A cycle club in downtown Calgary is now linked to 42 cases of COVID-19, the province confirmed Thursday.
  • Alberta reported two new deaths and 111 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, with 10,086 total confirmed cases of the illness.
  • As of Friday, 95 people were being treated in hospital for the disease, with 19 of them in ICU beds.
  • That brings the total number of active cases in the province to 1,341 — an increase of more than 500 cases since July 14.
  • The bubble around Rogers Place and the NHL teams playing there will be difficult for anyone to permeate whether going in or out, the NHL said Friday.
  • Some students and teachers say they're worried about being able to maintain safe distancing when Alberta schools reopen.
  • Alberta's chief medical officer of health says masks in schools are still under review.
  • The City of Calgary will make masks mandatory in all indoor public spaces starting Aug. 1 and the city may discuss extending that mask bylaw to schools.
  • Alberta Health has declared 15 regions around the province as under a "watch" for COVID-19, which means a rate of more than 50 cases per 100,000 people.

What you need to know today in Alberta:

Edmonton will require people to wear masks on public transit and at city-owned and operated facilities starting Aug. 1. 

The sharp rise in active COVID-19 cases over the past week should be seen as a "wake-up call" by every Albertan, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, said Thursday at a new conference.

The Alberta government announced Tuesday that students will resume in-person classes in September. There have been calls to extend mandatory mask wearing, and teachers, parents and students have expressed concerns about social distancing.

The Alberta NDP unveiled Thursday what it calls an alternative to the government's school relaunch plan, which the opposition party says isn't sufficiently funded to ensure student and staff safety.

Though Calgary's numbers have been climbing fastest in Alberta, even rural areas are seeing rising numbers. The central zone, which has not seen high case numbers so far, now has 33 people in hospital, seven of them in the ICU.

COVID-19 and poor weather abroad have put a damper on this year's mango season. With fewer cargo flights because of the pandemic, local sellers have struggled to bring in mango varieties for those who look forward to the fruit's short season. 

As of Friday afternoon, this was the breakdown of active cases across the province:

  • Calgary zone: 703 cases.
  • Edmonton zone: 232 cases.
  • Central zone: 167 cases.
  • South zone: 141 cases.
  • North zone: 90 cases.
  • Unknown: eight cases.

A teacher gives a lesson to elementary school children in eastern France, where classes reopened last month. (Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty Images)

Four downtown Edmonton hotels inside the NHL hub city bubble will be busy with guests for months — a welcome economic boost after being stuck in the COVID doldrums. But business for hotels outside that bubble may remain slow.

NHL teams are expected to arrive in the city on Sunday.

Hundreds of NHL players, media, and staff are expected to come to the city as it hosts the Western Conference playoffs and the Stanley Cup final.

What you need to know today in Canada:

People under the age of 39 account for over 60 per cent of new cases reported this week, as Dr. Theresa Tam warns of "COVID fatigue."

Health experts ask Ottawa to make a decision on funding domestic COVID-19 vaccine trial.

Hundreds of thousands of Canadians could get a tax break for working from home during the pandemic. Tax experts are calling on the government to clarify the rules for the "work-space-in-the-home" deduction.

You can claim it if you work from home more than 50 per cent of the time, or if you have a separate home office and use it to meet clients.

As the COVID-19 pandemic drags on and provinces ease their lockdown restrictions, travel is opening up — slowly. 

To help navigate the varied rules, the Canadian Travel & Tourism Roundtable — a new travel and tourism lobby group — has created an interactive map to assist Canadian travellers. 

The federal government's advisory against all non-essential international travel during the pandemic remains in effect until further notice — even as other countries start to open their borders.

As of 6 p.m. ET on Friday, Canada has seen 112,783 confirmed coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 98,519 of those as recovered or resolved and a total of 5,244 still active. A CBC News tally based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC's reporting indicates that 8,908 Canadians have died.

Self-assessment and supports:

Alberta Health Services has an online self-assessment tool that you can use to determine if you have symptoms of COVID-19, but testing is open to anyone, even without symptoms. 

The province says Albertans who have returned to Canada from other countries must self-isolate. Unless your situation is critical and requires a call to 911, Albertans are advised to call Health Link at 811 before visiting a physician, hospital or other health-care facility.

If you have symptoms, even mild, you are to self-isolate for at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms, until the symptoms have disappeared. 

You can find Alberta Health Services' latest coronavirus updates here.

The province also operates a confidential mental health support line at 1-877-303-2642 and addiction help line at 1-866-332-2322, available from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week. 

Online resources are available for advice on handling stressful situations and ways to talk with children.

There is a 24-hour family violence information line at 310-1818 to get anonymous help in more than 170 languages, and Alberta's One Line for Sexual Violence is available at 1-866-403-8000, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.


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