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Alberta

Alberta Relaunch stage 1 mostly a go for Thursday – Restrictions for Calgary and Brooks

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From the Province of Alberta

Alberta is ready for relaunch

Stage one – all areas of Alberta except cities of Calgary and Brooks

  • With increased infection prevention and control measures to minimize the risk of increased transmission of infections, some businesses and facilities can start to resume operations on May 14 in all areas except the cities of Calgary and Brooks:
    • Retail businesses, such as clothing, furniture and bookstores. All vendors at farmers markets will also be able to operate.
    • Museums and art galleries.
    • Daycares and out-of-school care with limits on occupancy.
    • Hairstyling and barbershops.
    • Cafés, restaurants, pubs and bars will be permitted to reopen for table service only at 50 per cent capacity.
    • Day camps, including summer school, will be permitted with limits on occupancy.
    • Post-secondary institutions will continue to deliver courses; however, there will be more flexibility to include in-person delivery once the existing health order prohibiting in-person classes is lifted.
    • Places of worship and funeral services, if they follow specific guidance already online.
    • The resumption of some scheduled, non-urgent surgeries will continue gradually.
    • Regulated health professions are permitted to offer services as long as they continue to follow approved guidelines set by their professional colleges.
  • In Calgary and Brooks, the relaunch will be gradual over 18 days due to higher COVID-19 case numbers in these communities.

Stage one – cities of Calgary and Brooks

Opening May 14:

  • Retail businesses, such as clothing, furniture and bookstores. All vendors at farmers markets will also be able to operate.
  • Museums and art galleries.
  • Daycares and out-of-school care with limits on occupancy.
  • The resumption of some scheduled, non-urgent surgeries will continue gradually.
  • Regulated health professions are permitted to offer services as long as they continue to follow approved guidelines set by their professional colleges.

Opening May 25:

  • Hairstyling and barbershops.
  • Cafés, restaurants, pubs and bars will be permitted to reopen for table service only at 50 per cent capacity.

Opening June 1:

  • Day camps, including summer school, will be permitted with limits on occupancy.
  • Post-secondary institutions will continue to deliver courses; however, there will be more flexibility to include in-person delivery once the existing health order prohibiting in-person classes is lifted.
  • Places of worship and funeral services, if they follow specific guidance already online.

The new alberta.ca/bizconnect web page provides business owners with information on health and safety guidelines for general workplaces, as well as sector-specific guidelines for those able to open in stage one. Businesses allowed to reopen during stage one will be subject to strict infection prevention and control measures, and will be carefully monitored for compliance with public health orders. It will be up to each business operator to determine if they are ready to open and ensure all guidance has been met.

Physical distancing requirements of two metres remain in place through all stages of relaunch and hygiene practices will continue to be required of businesses and individuals, along with instructions for Albertans to stay home when exhibiting symptoms such as cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose, or sore throat. Albertans are also encouraged to wear non-medical masks when out in public places where keeping a distance of two metres is difficult.

Still not permitted in stage one:

  • Gatherings of more than 15 people unless otherwise identified in public health orders or guidance.
  • Gatherings of 15 people or fewer must follow personal distancing and other public health guidelines.
  • Arts and culture festivals, major sporting events and concerts, all of which involve close physical contact.
  • Movie theatres, theatres, pools, recreation centres, arenas, spas, gyms and nightclubs will remain closed.
  • Services offered by allied health disciplines like acupuncture and massage therapy.
  • Visitors to patients at health-care facilities will continue to be limited; however, outdoor visits are allowed with a designated essential visitor and one other person (a group of up to three people, including the resident), where space permits. However, physical distancing must be practised and all visitors must wear a mask or some other form of face covering.
  • In-school classes for kindergarten to Grade 12 students.

Recommendations:

  • Travel outside the province is not recommended.
  • Remote working is advised where possible.
  • Encourage Albertans in Calgary and Brooks to wait to access services upon reopening in their communities rather than travelling for services.
  • Albertans are encouraged to download the ABTraceTogether mobile contact tracing app and use it when in public.

Progression to stage two will be determined by the success of stage one, considering health-care system capacity, hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) cases, and infection rates. For more information, visit alberta.ca/RelaunchStrategy.

Quick facts

  • Relaunch stages will include an evaluation and monitoring period to determine if restrictions should be adjusted. Triggers that will inform decisions on the lessening or tightening of restrictions include hospitalizations and intensive care unit (ICU) occupancy.
  • Confirmed cases, the percentage of positive results and the rate of infection will be monitored on an ongoing basis to inform proactive responses in localized areas of the province.
  • Decisions will be applied at both provincial and local levels, where necessary. While restrictions are gradually eased across the province, an outbreak may mean that they need to be strengthened temporarily in a local area.
  • The most important measure Albertans can take to prevent respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, is to practise physical distancing and good hygiene.
    • This includes cleaning your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, avoiding touching your face, coughing or sneezing into your elbow or sleeve, and disposing of tissues appropriately.

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Alberta

Active shooting incident in Airdrie – Multiple injuries from BB guns

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From Airdrie RCMP

Airdrie RCMP investigate reports of an active shooter

Airdrie RCMP are currently investigating an incident which has lead to multiple people injured from at least 6 different locations.
At this time it appears that BB guns were used in the “shootings”. One person is in custody and RCMP are looking for the others involved.
RCMP has businesses in a “Shelter in place” in the downtown core. Anyone in the downtown/midtown communities are asked to stay inside.
This is an unfolding situation and more information will be released when it becomes available.
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Alberta

Citrus vs. Cactus: Tampa-Dallas NHL final is duel of former coaching associates

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EDMONTON — It’s not only two American Sunbelt teams facing off Saturday in the NHL’s Stanley Cup final, it’s also a matchup of two head coaches who once worked together, but with the student now trying to outshine the mentor.

Dallas Stars head coach Rick Bowness was an associate coach for five years with the Tampa Bay Lightning alongside head coach Jon Cooper until leaving in 2018.

Bowness, with five decades of coaching in the NHL, gets a chance to win the Cup for the first time as head man in the final, which will be held in front of no spectators at Rogers Place

But first he has to get by Cooper.

Cooper recalled hiring Bowness when he got the head job in 2013.

“It was about bringing somebody in that knew the league and, honestly, could work a little bit as a mentor for myself, and that’s what I personally wanted. I searched everywhere and was very fortunate to run into Rick Bowness,” Cooper told reporters on a Zoom call Friday.

“I learned so much from him, just about how the league works and how to have success.

“We spent a decade together and we had some pretty good runs, especially the one in 2015, (Tampa lost to Chicago in Stanley Cup final) and Bonsey was a big part of it.”

Cooper said the parting was “amicable” in keeping with the quicksilver nature of the league where coaches come, go, switch, return, retire, and un-retire but added, “I’m probably not sitting here today without a lot of the help of Rick Bowness.”

Bowness vs. Cooper is just one of multiple storylines in this final chapter of the NHL’s surreal season of COVID-19, where, in a matchup of citrus versus cactus, teams from cities that never see snow will do battle in an empty rink on the bald Canadian prairie in September to determine the champion of a traditional winter sport.

Both teams are dealing with some past adversity. The Lightning set records last year racking up 62 wins and the President’s Trophy only to get humiliated by the Columbus Blue Jackets and swept in the first round last season.

Since then, Tampa general manger Julien BriseBois has added some grit to the roster in veterans like Zach Bogosian, Kevin Shattenkirk, Luke Schenn and Pat Maroon while beefing up the second line with Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow.

That builds on the core of high flying scorers like Brayden Point, Nikita Kucherov, Ondrej Palat and Victor Hedman, backstopped by Andrei Vasilveskiy in net.

Their best players have been just that this post-season. The top line of Palat, Point and Kucherov has 23 goals and 64 points in 19 games to lead the Lightning past the Blue Jackets, Boston Bruins and New York Islanders.

“We’re a different team,” said Hedman.

“We have different bodies in the lineup. We’re a better team, I think.

“Columbus got to us in the playoffs (in 2019), and if you’re not ready it could be an early exit, and that was what happened to us. But I think we put that behind us pretty quickly. We learned from it. We took that experience, and you don’t want to feel that feeling again.”

They have also done it without star captain Steven Stamkos. Stamkos underwent core muscle surgery on March 2 and hasn’t played since. He is skating in practice in Edmonton.

“(Stamkos) is still rehabbing. We haven’t ruled him out. I don’t expect him in the lineup (for Game 1),” said BriseBois.

The Dallas franchise which began life as the Minnesota North Stars in 1967, has won it all once — in 1999 — but had not been back to the Stanley Cup final until now.

The Stars had a rough start to this season, winning one of their first nine games, then saw head coach Jim Montgomery summarily fired in December and replaced by Bowness.

Dallas finished 10th in the league standings (37-24-8) when the regular season was halted March 12 due to COVID-19 (Tampa was fourth at 43-21-6).

The Stars and Lightning played each other twice in the regular season, with Dallas winning both times in overtime (3-2 and 4-3)

Dallas’s success starts with goalie Anton Khudobin.

The 34-year-old career journeyman backup has found his stride in the playoffs replacing the injured Ben Bishop. He is 12-6 in 18 starts and saved the team’s bacon in the last round against the Vegas Golden Knights, stopping 153 of 161 shots (.950 save percentage) as Dallas outscored Vegas 9-8 in five games but won the series 4-1.

In the last two rounds, against Colorado and Vegas, the Stars have been outshot to 415 to 338 while the goals have been even, 37 to 37.

Dallas general manager Jim Nill has also added sandpaper and playoff experience to his lineup with veterans Joe Pavelski and Corey Perry.

The offensive punch has come from defenders Miro Heiskanen, just 21, and John Klingberg (eight goals and 32 points combined) and captain Jamie Benn (8 goals, 18 points).

The Stars will need continued heroics out of Khudobin and more production out of first line centre Tyler Seguin if they want to beat the Bolts. Seguin was the team’s top scorer in the regular season (17 goals, 50 points) but in the bubbled playoffs has just 2 goals and 8 points 20 games.

“They (Tampa) are a big offensive threat (up and) down the lineup. Up front they’ve got great players and obviously they have Hedman at the point who doesn’t seem to miss a shot right now,” said Seguin.

“They have an unbelievable goalie. They’re well coached, so we definitely have our hands full.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 18, 2020

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

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