City of Calgary
Due to issues for Calgary Transit staff, and safety concerns some LRT stations will have their upper decks closed from 6PM to 6AM.
Stampede, Erlton, Heritage, Southland, and Anderson are the stations so far affected.
At Home Activities
The City of Calgary is pleased to announce a new collection of online activities and resources for Calgarians of all ages. Calgary.ca/athome features programs and activities for kids, youth, seniors and families. Program leaders from Recreation, Parks and Calgary Neighbourhoods have developed videos, instructions and learning modules for everything from fitness, to crafts and games, to ways to engage with nature. Keeping our minds and bodies active, and finding new ways to connect with ourselves, each other and nature, is key to staying mentally and physically healthy during this time. There’s lots to learn and do at Calgary.ca/athome and new material will be added regularly
Employment standards changes
As the Minister of Labour and Immigration, I announced immediate action to protect employees by allowing them to remain attached to jobs and have the ability to access federal assistance programs while providing flexibility to Alberta’s job creators to ensure their ongoing viability.
Temporary rules will be in place to provide unpaid job-protection for workers so they can care for children affected by school and daycare closure, or ill and self-isolating family members. These changes will provide scheduling flexibility so employers can ensure the workforce and business is sustainable
We are taking steps to allow employers to respond to the impact of COVID-19 while at the same time allowing employees to remain attached to their employment during this very challenging time.
The changes above take effect immediately and will be in place as long as government determines it is needed and the public health emergency order remains.
Emergency isolation support
The Government of Alberta announced a temporary program to provide one-time funding for working Albertans required to isolate by public health guidelines or who had to take care of a dependent who was isolating, and had no other source of compensation during their period of self-isolation. This was established as a bridge until the federal program was available.
The Government of Alberta has worked with the Government of Canada to ensure emergency funding will be made available across Canada on a consistent basis for workers who have been unable to work or receive income while self-isolating.
The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is now available. Payments will be retroactive to March 15, 2020. The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit program is broader than the Emergency Isolation Program. Applications can now be submitted at: http:// https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/apply-for-cerb-with-cra.html
Over 90,000 Albertans were approved for the program with money quickly being deposited in applicants’ bank accounts within hours of approval, distributing double the $50 million allotted for this benefit.
Alberta Health Services
Alberta Health Services (AHS) is now limiting visitors in hospitals across Alberta. Patients in hospital will no longer be able to have visitors in person. Some exceptions will be made on a case by case basis. Please plan to support loved ones in hospital with virtual visits.
AHS has also temporarily suspended parking fees for health-care workers and the general public during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Many health care professionals are working different hours than usual and others need to work at a variety of sites so removing parking fees and the need for parking passes will make these transitions easier. The change also helps to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread from touch screens and buttons at payment sites, and it supports physical-distancing measures that have been mandated by the Chief Medical Officer of Health.
Alberta’s health professionals are doing an outstanding job and we’re here to support them in any way we can to protect and care for Albertans during the COVID-19 emergency.
We have expanded our testing priorities to include individuals with shortness of breath, runny nose, cough, fever or sore throat for those workers in group homes and shelters, first responders and those involved in COVID-19 enforcement.
In addition, we are expanding eligibility for testing to anyone 65 years old or older across the province who has fever, cough, shortness of breath, runny nose or sore throat. Older Albertans are at a higher risk for complications if they are infected with COVID-19 so enabling early detection in this group of people is essential.
Face mask effectiveness
- Wearing a non-medical mask, such as a homemade cloth mask, has not been proven to protect the person wearing it, but it may help to protect others around you.
- Face coverings are another way to cover your mouth and nose to prevent respiratory droplets from contaminating other people or surfaces.
- It can also stop you from touching your nose and mouth.
- If you wear a mask you must:
- Wash your hands before and after putting it on; and
- Wash your hands before and after taking it off.
Non-medical mask or face covering:
- Should be well-fitted and not gape at the sides.
- Avoid moving or adjusting the mask.
- Assume the mask has been contaminated and take proper precautions.
- Cloth masks should be worn only a short time.
- There is some evidence that they trap virus particles after becoming damp, putting the wearer at greater risk.
- Carry a bag with several clean masks in it, as well as a plastic bag that can be used to safely store used masks until they can be washed at home.
- It is critical that used masks be carefully handled to avoid spreading infection to others.
The Trump administration and 3M announced late yesterday that they had reached a deal to import 166.5 million from its manufacturing facility in China into the United States over the next three months. As part of this deal, 3M will be allowed to send respirators to Canada and Latin America.
This morning, the Prime Minister confirmed that 500,000 N95 masks from 3M will arrive in Canada tomorrow. When asked if an exception had been granted to Canada under President Trump’s executive order, Trudeau would not provide a definitive answer and said constructive talks continue.
For further information, 3M’s announcement can be found here.
The Prime Minister Trudeau said government has been working with a number of industry partners to develop supplies to help Canada combat COVID-19. Partnerships include: Medical companies including Thornhill Medical, CAE, Ventilators for Canadians and a consortium led by Starfish Medical to produce 30,000 Canadian-made ventilators. Medicom is also increasing their production of N95 masks. Apparel brands Arc’teryx, Canada Goose and Standfield’s have been retooling their production lines to produce PPE. Automotive parts manufacturer Autoliv is making medical gowns from materials used to produce airbags. The Prime Minister also announced that Canadian Nobel Prize winner Dr. Art McDonald will be leading a team of scientists to develop a type of ventilator that will be easier to manufacturer.
Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy Legislation
Proposed legislation to bring in a wage subsidy for employers has been shared with opposition parties and debate is underway. Trudeau noted that amendments to the Income Tax Act will need to be required.
While particulars have not been released, the Department of Finance has set up a website that provides a fullsome backgrounder.
Canadian Emergency Response Benefit
As a reminder, if you are eligible for the CERB and your birthday falls in April, May or June, you can apply today on the government’s online portal.