From the Province of Alberta
New measures to curb the rapid growth of COVID-19
Targeted health measures will take effect on Nov. 13 to curb the rapid growth of COVID-19 in Alberta and protect the health system.
Alberta’s government is implementing additional health measures to help protect hospitals, keep schools and businesses open, and protect vulnerable Albertans.
There are 8,305 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. Hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions are at their highest point since the pandemic began.
New public health measures
Starting Nov. 13, all restaurants, bars, lounges and pubs in regions under enhanced status must cease liquor sales by 10 p.m. and close by 11 p.m. The restriction will remain in place until Nov. 27.
There will also be a two-week ban on indoor group fitness classes, team sport activities and group performance activities in Edmonton and surrounding areas, Calgary and surrounding areas, Grande Prairie, Fort McMurray, Red Deer and Lethbridge.
Additional public health measures will also be implemented in all regions under an enhanced status. These measures will be in place until further notice:
- Maximum attendance of 50 at wedding or funeral ceremonies.
- It is recommended all faith-based activities limit attendance to one-third capacity per service.
- Residents should not hold social gatherings within their homes and should not plan social gatherings outside their community.
- It is recommended employers in office settings implement measures to reduce the number of employees in the workplace at one time.
All existing guidance and legal orders remain in place in all areas.
Alberta Health, AHS and local municipalities will continue to closely monitor the spread across the province.
The Government of Alberta is asking all Albertans to do their part. If these measures are not successful, it will be necessary to implement more restrictive measures.
“We must take action at this critical point to contain the rapid growth of COVID-19 in our province. Through our actions, we can support the health-care system, keep schools open, protect vulnerable Albertans and keep the economy operating throughout the province. This is our chance. If Albertans respond to these and other public health guidelines now, we won’t need more restrictive measures in the future.”
“We must reduce the spread of COVID-19. In addition to these measures, I am asking all Albertans to look at our lives and reduce our social and close contact interactions wherever we can. If we can connect virtually or through other means, we need to make that change. By working together, we can protect each other, reduce the spread and protect our health system.”
- There are 8,305 active cases and 27,707 recovered cases in Alberta.
- There are 225 people in hospital due to COVID-19, including 51 in intensive care.
- The total number of COVID-19 deaths is 393.
Good Earth Cafes unveils strategy to move in when Starbucks closes Canadian shops
CALGARY — The founder and CEO of Good Earth Cafes Ltd. says the Calgary-based chain could potentially double its 45 locations across Canada through a program to take over coffee shops being closed down by international chains such as Starbucks.
In January, Seattle-based Starbucks said it would complete its plan to close up to 300 coffee shops across Canada by the end of March as part of a “transformation strategy” to respond to changes in consumer habits during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Michael Going of Good Earth says his company is already looking at potential sites to be redeveloped and is recruiting partners for multi-unit franchises as well as single unit owner operators.
Good Earth says it has hired Stan Boniferro of Stabon Enterprises to work with landlords and developers in identifying sites with proven performance, infrastructure and good growth prospects.
The first Good Earth shop opened in Calgary in 1991. The chain says it aims to offer ethically sourced coffee and fresh food while promoting community interaction and environmental responsibility.
Going says franchisees would cover the cost of renovating the former Starbucks to match Good Earth’s theme and design. He declined to give a specific target number for Good Earth’s program.
“We’re not going to take 300. First of all, there’s not 300 good locations they’re leaving behind,” said Going.
“We could double the number of locations we have now in a couple of years time.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 3, 2021.
The Canadian Press
Kerri Einarson, Brad Gushue team up for national mixed doubles championship
CALGARY — If there’s an upside to Kerri Einarson not having a women’s world curling championship to play in this month, it’s the chance to win another Canadian championship.
Einarson and reigning Canadian men’s champion skip Brad Gushue were among the 35 duos named Tuesday to the national mixed doubles championship.
The March 18-25 tournament will be the third of four Curling Canada events held in a spectator-free, controlled environment in Calgary to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Einarson, third Val Sweeting, second Shannon Birchard and lead Briane Meilleur, who claimed a second straight national women’s title Sunday, will return to Calgary to team up with male partners for mixed doubles.
While Einarson and company would have preferred representing Canada on the world stage March 20-28 in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, mixed doubles offers the chance to at least keep curling.
When the World Curling Federation called off the women’s championship Feb. 8, Einarson said she sent Gushue a tongue-in-cheek text saying “well, good news, I guess the worlds is cancelled so I guess I’m playing mixed doubles.”
Gushue and several other men curling in the national championship, starting Friday at WinSport’s Markin MacPhail Centre, will stay on in Calgary for $150,000 Home Hardware Mixed Doubles Curling Championship.
The mixed doubles field also includes two-time national champions Brett Gallant, who is Gushue’s second, and Jocelyn Peterman, as well as 2014 Olympic women’s curling champion skip Jennifer Jones and her husband Brett Laing.
John Morris, who won Olympic mixed doubles gold with Kaitlyn Lawes in 2018, replaced partner Rachel Homan with Danielle Schmiemann because Homan is just weeks away from giving birth.
The top 12 teams emerging from five pools advance to playoffs.
The winner earns $50,000 in prize money and represents Canada in the 2021 world mixed doubles championship, if there is one. The World Curling Federation has yet to announce a date and location.
The world championship would determine seven of the 10 countries competing in mixed doubles in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
The pandemic wiping out the majority of the curling season posed qualification challenges for mixed doubles as it did for the Scotties Tournament of Hearts and Tim Hortons Brier.
Fourteen pairs are provincial or territorial champions and another 14 gained entry via Curling Canada’s mixed doubles rankings based on their results between March 2019 and March 2020.
The latter group of 14 had to play a minimum of two mixed doubles events during that time frame.
The seven other teams in the field didn’t compete this season because of the pandemic, but had declared to Curling Canada their intention to curl mixed doubles in 2020-21.
They qualified via a ranking system based on each athlete’s top three results with their four-player teams, combined with their partner’s, in 2019-20.
Gushue and Einarson were among those seven whose ranking under that criteria placed them fifth.
Curling Canada wants to keep mixed doubles options open for the country’s top curlers who spend the majority of their competitive seasons with their four-player teams.
Morris and Lawes had played only a handful of games together before winning Olympic gold in 2018.
Two-time national women’s champion skip Chelsea Carey and Colin Hodgson, who plays lead for Mike McEwen, objected Tuesday on social media about their exclusion from the field.
Curling Canada responded that they didn’t play mixed doubles together in the 2019-20 time frame, nor did they rank high enough to be among the seven. Carey and Hodgson ranked 10th.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021.
Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press
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