Nenshi doesn't want us thinking that this pandemic is over. On Thursday, April 30, Premier Jason Kenney announced that the province is moving forward with a phased approach to reopening starting May 1. However, regarding COVID-19 in Calgary, Mayor Naheed Nenshi makes it clear that we're not out of the woods yet.
Nenshi told the public in Friday's press conference that he'd initially been surprised about Premier Kenney's plans to begin reopening the province slowly, particularly his decision to let retailers and restaurants begin opening on May 14.
"My very first thought was that it's way too early," he said. Though, he did mention that he trusted the approach and the data-based planning that has gone into the strategy.
The mayor noted that the past week has seen days with the highest number of new cases for Calgary.
He added that the city has also recorded seven new deaths since the last time they had a press conference on COVID-19.
"We're not out of this," he said.
"Certainly, while we have plateaued, it's not safe to say that we've peaked and we're declining," Nenshi said.
However, he reiterated that this doesn't necessarily mean that the province was wrong to announce their reopening plans this week. He does support the province's decision.
"In fact, they were right in doing so. It's very thoughtful, it's very oriented towards information and data," he stated.
He said that he doesn't want Calgarians to mark May 14 with a red circle on the calendar and tell themselves that everything is good to go starting from that date.
That's not the case, Nenshi stated.
Physical distancing guidelines and mass gathering restrictions still remain in place.
This means that we still have to make sure we're at least six feet apart from other people in public or the length of a "full-grown llama" as the mayor explained in his address.
He said that it's our actions over the next two weeks that will determine whether we even get to Phase 1 of the relaunch strategy.
"There's some light at the end of the tunnel but the tunnel requires some traversing," the mayor said.
Based on the most recent data, Calgary has confirmed 3,708 COVID-19 cases so far.
Alberta, as a whole, has recorded 5,573 cases, which means Calgary has over 65% of the province's total cases.