Alberta has started to reopen but Calgary is still in pre-launch limbo. On Tuesday, May 19, Mayor Naheed Nenshi told the public that eight deaths have been recorded over the long weekend. In the same Calgary COVID-19 update, he reminded locals that the disease is very much still present in the city.
In the press conference, Nenshi spoke about the long weekend between Friday, May 15, and Monday, May 18 and how Calgary fared as a city in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Since we spoke on Thursday, we lost eight more people in Calgary," the mayor said.
"This virus really has not gone away," he said.
Nenshi also discussed whether locals managed to practice social distancing over the weekend. He said that most Calgarians were fairly responsible in following public health orders.
The Chief of Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA), Tom Sampson, assigned a letter grade for how well the locals have been following the pandemic rules: C+.
"It's a good mark but we could've done better," he said. He also added that more effort is required.
He shared that there were 77 incidents related to concerns about people not physically distancing.
Just before the weekend, Dr. Deena Hinshaw increased the limit of outdoor gatherings to 50 people but emphasized that all members in any gathering need to be apart at least two metres.
Altogether, there were 135 warnings issued to Calgarians, although no COVID-19-related fines to individuals were handed out.
Five tickets were handed out to people found drinking in a public park.
On top of that, 13 businesses were caught not adhering to physical distancing and they were given warnings accordingly.
Violation tickets were given to two massage businesses, each worth $1,000.
On Wednesday, May 13, Jason Kenney's government made a last-minute decision to delay Calgary and Brooks' reopening to May 25.
"There are a lot of people with lots of different opinions right now, tensions are running high," he said. "Tempers are running high."
That's why Nenshi took a moment to remind people that we need to keep following the rules.
"Be kind to those businesses that were legally allowed to open," he said. "It was a tough decision for them."
He also said that we should be kind to businesses that choose not to open.
So while Calgary restaurants still wait to welcome the public to sit-down service, the city is encouraging residents to order in and opt for curbside delivery to keep supporting local businesses.