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Alberta

Quarantine – Rebekah McDonald on her family’s experience in Calgary

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Rebekah McDonald knew strict new travel restrictions were coming in just a few days.  She was relieved her 20 year old son would be coming home January 30, a couple of days ahead of time.  Rebekah had helped arrange for the appropriate PCR test and the family was following all the rules.  She hadn’t seen her son in some time and she was anxious to meet him at the airport and bring him home.  What she didn’t know was the Traveler COVID Isolation Centres were already operating and within a few hours her son would be one of the first guests.

All was going well until the plane landed and all the other passengers walked past.  Her son wasn’t among them.  That’s when Rebekah noticed she was getting a notification from Facebook messenger.  Because her son left his phone plan behind in Arizona, this was his only way of contacting her.  He was being detained and they wouldn’t tell him why.  The test had come back negative.  The airline allowed him on the flight.  But health officials at the Calgary International Airport were not satisfied.

That was the beginning of a short nightmare for the McDonald family.  In retrospect there was a misunderstanding which could have been easily explained at the airport.  It wasn’t.  Instead a distraught mother worried for the safety of her son.  For two days the family struggled to find answers.  They found the quarantine system set up by the Public Health Agency over the proceeding months to protect Canadians from COVID-19, had somehow neglected to think of communicating with the family and loved ones of those affected.

Here Rebekah explains the situation in her own words.

In the days following the release of her son from the quarantine centre, Rebekah has heard the federal government might be looking to make changes.  However the RFI (Request for Information) issued by the federal government back in September states the centres are expected to be in operation for 1 to 2 years.  So far the family has not heard if they’ll be asked to pay for their son’s stay.

 

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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Alberta

Michael Hutchinson earns 31-save shutout, Maple Leafs blank Oilers 3-0

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EDMONTON — Michael Hutchinson earned his sixth career shutout, and the Toronto Maple Leafs blanked the Edmonton Oilers 3-0 on Monday. 

Hutchinson stopped all 31 of the shots he faced as the Leafs (17-4-2) shutdown Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and their teammates for a second straight game.

Toronto also blanked Edmonton 4-0 on Saturday with Jack Campbell in net.

Morgan Rielly and WIlliam Nylander had a goal and an assist apiece Monday, while Zach Hyman also scored for the NHL’s top team.

Oilers (14-10-0) goalie Mikko Koskinen allowed three goals on 10 shots before being replaced by Mike Smith to start the second period. Smith had 13 saves in relief.

Toronto was without Auston Matthews for a second straight game as the team’s star centre recovers from a wrist injury. 

Matthews — who has 31 points (18 goals, 13 assists) on the season — is travelling with the team and took part in an optional skate with his teammates on Monday. 

Toronto’s first shot of the night didn’t come until 7:19 into the first period, but it was worth the wait as Rielly put a pass on Hyman’s tape and the forward sent a nifty backhanded shot past Koskinen to give the Leafs a 1-0 lead. 

Three minutes later, Nylander collected the puck off a faceoff and streaked deep into the Edmonton zone. He sailed a backhander over Koskinen’s glove and into the top-left corner of the net. 

A power-play strike rounded out the first-period scoring after Edmonton’s Adam Larsson was called for hooking. 

Rielly uncorked a blast from near the blue line and, while Koskinen got a piece of it, he couldn’t control the puck and it dribbled through his legs and over the goal line, giving Toronto a 3-0 lead heading into the first intermission. 

The Leafs came into the game with the league’s top-ranked power play, having capitalized on 32.4 per cent of their chances with the man advantage. 

Toronto was 1 for 4 on the power play Monday. Edmonton failed to capitalize on any of its four chances.

The Oilers had ample opportunities to claw out a goal in the third period, outshooting the Leafs 13-8 across the frame, but couldn’t beat Hutchinson.

The 31-year-old goalie’s last shutout came on Jan. 4, 2020, when he led Toronto to a 3-0 victory over the New York Islanders. 

The Leafs and Oilers will wrap up a three-game series in Edmonton on Wednesday. 

NOTES: Earlier on Monday, the Oilers claimed goalie Alex Stalock off waivers from the Minnesota Wild. … Toronto defenceman Jake Muzzin played in the 600th game of his NHL career. … The Leafs have never lost at Edmonton’s Rogers Place during regulation.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Mar. 1, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Alberta flexes COVID-19 rules for gyms, libraries, delays other reopenings

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EDMONTON — Alberta is lifting more economic restrictions tied to COVID-19 while delaying others.

Premier Jason Kenney says low intensity group activities, such as Pilates, can resume in fitness centres, and libraries can open at 15 per cent capacity.

But he says loosening measures for retail shops, hotels and community centres can’t happen yet.

“While our hospitalizations are dropping … active cases have levelled off recently. And the testing positivity rate has risen a bit,” he told a news conference Monday.

“We have also observed a small increase in the daily number of new variant cases and that is worrisome too.

“That is why we have to proceed cautiously while still moving forward.”

This is Stage 2 of a four-stage plan to reopen the economy announced by Kenney a month ago.

In Stage 1, restaurants were able to reopen for dine-in service, gyms were allowed to resume one-on-one fitness training and some restrictions were lifted on youth sports.

Some medical experts, including the Edmonton Zone Medical Staff Association, warned the province last week against further loosening public-health measures.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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march, 2021

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