In an online public announcement on Wednesday, April 1, mayor Naheed Nenshi informed Calgarians of the newest COVID-19 updates. Officials stated that the city is renewing its state of emergency. This means that new Calgary self-isolation rules will be coming into effect. 

On March 16, 2020, the city of Calgary announced they would be declaring a local state of emergency due to COVID-19. Now, Calgary’s mayor has confirmed that the city will be renewing that state. 

“I wish I didn’t have to start these press conferences by acknowledging more sad news,” began Nenshi, referencing the fifth death in Calgary, an individual in a long-term care residence. 

This is the third person lost to COVID-19 complications in this location alone. 

“It underscores the tragedy of what we are looking at here and the reason we are asking people to make so many scarifies,” said the mayor. 

While a majority of the COVID-19 deaths in the province have been elderly people, a man in his 30s from Northern Alberta died earlier this week. 

“We do what we can do. We do what we can do as individuals. We do what we can do as communities, as governments and businesses to ensure we are keeping as many people as possible safe,” stated Nenshi. 

“We got to continue to do our hard work of clean hands, clear heads, open hearts. We have to work hard to prevent the spread of the virus in every possible way we can.”

Nenshi clarified that this would mean continuing to stay home, wash hands, and social distance "as if we have the virus."

Chief of Calgary Emergency Management Agency Tom Sampson addressed the media following Nenshi, stating that Calgary would be renewing the state of emergency later today. 

Sampson noted that this renewal would allow the city to issue orders where they need to, to ensure those orders work alongside what the province of Alberta is doing. 

In addition to this, since the federal government has announced a mandatory self-isolation period for any who have travelled, the city will revoke its order to that end and let the federal mandate stand in Calgary as well. 

“It’s still in place regardless,” said the chief. 

He added that serious penalties will be applied, and since they are under federal mandate, they will be bigger than those on just a municipal level. 

Transit systems will also be updated, starting April 6. This would mean fewer trips per day, with limited seating.

Routes won’t be cut but they will be reduced, which may result in longer wait times. 

Sampson noted that about half of the seating on the buses will be blocked off with signs to promote distancing. 

“We know we need to maintain transit. But at the same time we aren’t seeing the ridership,” said Sampson. 

He also went on to give examples of how you could change your daily etiquette to include not shaking hands and turning to face the wall while in elevators. 

Sampson also told the public to limit the number of people in the elevator to only three per ride. 

He also stressed that kids should avoid going to any playgrounds or skateparks at this time. 

With everyone taking this pandemic seriously, Alberta Health Services has set up a hotline for the community to report people who aren’t following the rules. So far, 4,000 Albertans have been called out. 

As of now, Calgary will remain in a state of emergency until further notice. “It's a whole new way of doing business and it’s tough,” said Sampson in his closing remark. 

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