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Alberta

Add another Edmonton big event; ITU World Triathlon Cancelled

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From organizers of the ITU World Triathlon

With the health and safety of our athletes and community our top priority, and based on the directive from Alberta Canada’s chief medical officer of health, the organizers of the 2020 World Triathlon Grand Final Edmonton are announcing that the Grand Final that was scheduled for August 17-23, in Edmonton, Alberta will unfortunately not take place in 2020.

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw clarified this Thursday, saying: “mass gathering restrictions currently in place also apply to all summer events or festivals in Alberta.

Those restrictions prohibit gatherings of more than 15 people and require people gathered in groups of fewer than 15 to maintain a distance of two metres from one another”.

The Edmonton organisers, Triathlon Canada and World Triathlon want to share their deep disappointment that this event will not be able to take place as planned, despite all efforts from all the parties involved, but absolutely understand that the  current global situation with the COVID-19 outbreak make it impossible for the event to happen at this stage.

World Triathlon, along with the Edmonton Organizing Committee, the City of Edmonton and all stakeholders and the community partners  will continue to work closely together to find new options for the event to take place in the future, when it is safe to do so.

Our hearts and thoughts remain with our many front-line workers and those affected by this global crisis.

Updated summer rules for gathers over 15 cancels most events till September.

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Alberta

Positive COVID-19 tests at world men's curling championship deemed “false positives”

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CALGARY — The four positive COVID-19 tests that interrupted the men’s world curling championship are considered “false positives” from potentially contaminated samples, according to the World Curling Federation.

The men’s championship concluded late Sunday night with Sweden’s Niklas Edin winning a record fifth world men’s title.

No games were played Saturday because four participants, including one from a playoff team, tested positive for the virus in “exit” tests before leaving Calgary’s curling bubble. 

None had symptoms of the illness.

All have tested negative in multiple re-tests since then, the WCF said Monday in a statement. All tests were conducted via PCR throat swabs.

“According to Alberta Health, PCR testing remains the gold standard for COVID-19 testing,” the WCF said. “Very rarely, there are occurrences through sampling or testing processes when samples may become contaminated and a false positive may result.

“Following an investigation over the weekend, it appears that this may have occurred in this case and follow-up testing was undertaken.”

All athletes and personnel considered close contacts of the four underwent testing Saturday with all results negative. 

Every playoff team member was tested before and after each game Sunday with those results also negative, the WCF said. Hotel staff were also tested Sunday and cleared.

“With the original four positive test results now deemed as false positives, the integrity of the Calgary bubble remains intact,” the WCF declared.

“The change also allows international athletes who were considered close contacts, and who would have had to remain in isolation in Calgary for 14 days, will now be able to depart Calgary.”

The fifth of seven events in Calgary’s curling hub, the Humpty’s Champions Cup, gets underway Thursday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 12, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Pulling the plug: Edmonton Folk Music Festival cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic

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EDMONTON — Despite Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s hope that the COVID-19 vaccine will allow summer events like the Calgary Stampede to go ahead, the Edmonton Folk Music Festival has been cancelled

The festival says in a statement that without full vaccination, people won’t be entirely safe from the spread of COVID-19. 

It says that with virus variants and an uncertain vaccine rollout, the impossibility of social distancing at the outdoor festival could lead to community spread.

Kenney has said that two-thirds of the population should have a vaccine shot by the end of June and things should begin to feel back-to-normal.

He says the Stampede, which is held in early July, along with sporting events and other festivals will be possible.

The Edmonton Folk Music Festival says it will continue to offer online content and, if small gatherings are permitted, it hopes to add some community engagement.

“With so many variables at play, the complexity of planning and delivering a festival of our size makes it impossible to move forward in our usual manner,” the statement said Monday.

“As profoundly disappointing as this news is, we believe this is the only safe way forward. The safety of our patrons, volunteers, and artists was of paramount importance in coming to this conclusion.”

The annual four-day festival in the city’s Gallagher Park usually attracts thousands of music fans and boasts approximately 2,700 volunteers.

Alberta introduced new health rules last week, closing restaurants to in-person dining and further reducing customer capacity at retail stores in response to rising COVID-19 numbers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 12, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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