COVID-19 Update: 1,123 new cases, 25 deaths | Third health-care worker dies from virus

With news on COVID-19 happening rapidly, we’ve created this page to bring you our latest

With news on COVID-19 happening rapidly, we’ve created this page to bring you our latest stories and information on the outbreak in and around Calgary.



Masked Calgarians pass a mural of Popeye at the West Village construction site in downtown Calgary on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021.


© Provided by Calgary Herald
Masked Calgarians pass a mural of Popeye at the West Village construction site in downtown Calgary on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021.

What’s happening now



a close up of a newspaper:  Numbers reported by Alberta Health on Wednesday, Jan. 6.


Numbers reported by Alberta Health on Wednesday, Jan. 6.

My COVID Story: How have you been impacted by coronavirus?

Postmedia is looking to speak with people who may have been impacted by the growing second wave of COVID-19 here in Alberta. Do you have a child or teen who caught COVID-19? Are you a front-line worker? Have you been immunized? Send us an email at  [email protected]  to tell us your experience, or send us a message via  this form .

Read our ongoing coverage of personal stories arising from the pandemic.

Announcement on restrictions coming tomorrow: Kenney

Alberta short of year-end target for contact tracers; AHS cites logistical bottleneck



a sign on a pole:  Alberta’s COVID-19 contact tracing app has only been used to track exposures 19 times since it was launched in May. There are approximately 268,000 registered users of ABTraceTogether. Taken on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020 in Edmonton.


© Greg Southam
Alberta’s COVID-19 contact tracing app has only been used to track exposures 19 times since it was launched in May. There are approximately 268,000 registered users of ABTraceTogether. Taken on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020 in Edmonton.

Alberta’s provincial health authority missed its target of having 1,600 COVID-19 contact tracers by the end of December, citing logistical challenges.

As of Wednesday, it had about 1,250 contact tracing staff working to track the source of COVID-19 transmissions and is still aiming to bring the number of staff to 1,600 over the next few weeks. By early February, it hopes to have over 2,000.

Read more .

Two more cases of U.K. variant found in Alberta, no evidence of community spread



a man wearing a mask:  A woman wears a mask to protect against COVID-19 while walking along 118 Avenue near 82 Street, in Edmonton Sunday Nov. 15, 2020.


© David Bloom David Bloom
A woman wears a mask to protect against COVID-19 while walking along 118 Avenue near 82 Street, in Edmonton Sunday Nov. 15, 2020.

Alberta has identified two more patients with the highly transmissable COVID-19 variant first seen in the U.K.

Alberta Health spokesman Tom McMillan said Wednesday both cases are linked to recent travellers who are now quarantining. There is no evidence that there is further spread of the virus in the community.

Read more .

Coun. Farkas docks pay of staffer who travelled outside of Canada

Alberta reports the death of a health-care worker from COVID-19 for third consecutive day



a person walking down a city street:  A masked pedestrian crosses the quiet street in Kensington on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021.


© Provided by Calgary Herald
A masked pedestrian crosses the quiet street in Kensington on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021.

A third Alberta health-care worker has passed away from COVID-19, according to Alberta Health on Wednesday.

This is the third consecutive day that Alberta has reported the death of a health-care worker from COVID-19. The health-care worker reported dead on Wednesday worked in the Calgary zone. They were not employed by Alberta Health Services, AHS said.

Read more .

Politicians could face uphill battle in regaining public’s trust following travel scandal



Jason Kenney wearing a suit and tie:  Premier Kenney and his UCP government under fire over Christmas travel.


© Provided by Calgary Herald
Premier Kenney and his UCP government under fire over Christmas travel.

As officials at both the provincial and municipal levels of government deal with the fallout of holiday travel scandals, gaining back public trust will depend on concrete actions to help Albertans cope with hardships caused by the pandemic, experts say.

“The public outrage is real. The sense of disappointment and disillusionment I don’t think is going to go away easily,” Mount Royal University political scientist David Taras said.

“What makes this situation different is it’s people’s lives and it is people’s livelihoods and the sense that these guidelines had to be respected in order to save people’s lives.”

Read more .

1,123 new cases, 25 deaths

Condon: My family lost more than a loved one when my grandpa died of COVID



a person holding a dog:  Olivia Condon with her grandfather Fred at Zoo Lights in 1997.


© Provided by Calgary Herald
Olivia Condon with her grandfather Fred at Zoo Lights in 1997.

Columnist Olivia Condon writes:

My grandpa died on Christmas morning. He’d been diagnosed with COVID-19 only a week prior.

It shocked us that the virus took him so quickly.

The nurses at his long-term care facility said he went peacefully in his sleep but their word is all we have.

He died alone. He wasn’t surrounded by the people he loved most or who loved him most.

That breaks my heart.

Read more .



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© Provided by Calgary Herald


Lash extension business ordered to close



a group of people in a room:  AHS inspectors ordered a lash extension business to stop providing its services during the pandemic.


© Provided by Calgary Herald
AHS inspectors ordered a lash extension business to stop providing its services during the pandemic.

AHS inspectors ordered an eyelash extension business to stop operating after finding the operators were still providing their services.

In a inspection report posted to the AHS website, Lashline YYC located at 6 Pantego Point N.W. was “offering eyelash extension services to the public despite the current prohibition to do so.”

The inspector’s report noted that providing eyelash extensions has been prohibited due to the possibility of spreading COVID-19.

The business must stop providing services until the Public Health Order is rescinded by Alberta Health Services.



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Kids head back to school next week, but Alberta’s education minister ‘ready to make changes’ on Hinshaw’s advice



a group of people sitting at a table in a room:  Empty classroom at an Edmonton school. File photo.


Empty classroom at an Edmonton school. File photo.

Kids are heading back to school next week, but plans could change depending on Alberta’s top doctor’s advice.

Nicole Sparrow, press secretary to education minister Adriana LaGrange, confirmed Tuesday in-person learning is set to resume Jan. 11 after the first week of class is completed online.

Sparrow said the delayed return was meant to reduce the impact of any exposures over the holidays. But the ministry is following the advice of Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health, and they are “ready to make changes” to the re-entry plan if needed.

Read more .

The fast-spreading mutant COVID-19 strain is a ‘2021 nightmare’: researchers



a close up of a busy city street:  A man stands near a bus stop in the nearly deserted financial district of London on Jan. 5, 2021.


© Matt Dunham
A man stands near a bus stop in the nearly deserted financial district of London on Jan. 5, 2021.

A mutated COVID-19 virus capable of spreading more easily and quickly that has plunged England and Scotland into bleak new national lockdowns is gaining a foothold in Canada. Will it do here what it has done in the United Kingdom — and rapidly overtake the current circulating strain?

Ontario on Monday confirmed three new cases of the “super-contagious” viral variant officially known as B. 1. 1. 7, bringing the province’s total to six cases, all tied to travel outside the country. British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec have reported one confirmed case each.

Read more .

Tuesday

Two of Nenshi’s staff travelled to Hawaii over holidays, but won’t face sanctions



a man wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone:  Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi on Oct. 28, 2020.


© Provided by Calgary Herald
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi on Oct. 28, 2020.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi said Tuesday that his chief of staff and an administrative assistant in his office travelled to Hawaii over the Christmas break.

The mayor said he was aware of the trips and he regrets not “pushing back hard” on those plans, but the staff members won’t face additional consequences. They visited Hawaii separately over Christmas and came back around New Year’s Day.

Read more .

Tuesday

Slave Lake calls for its MLA, who travelled out of country multiple times, to resign



a man wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera:  Pat Rehn was one of several government MLAs caught travelling abroad over the Christmas holidays. Rehn had posted a photo on Facebook on Christmas Eve that appeared to show he was in Mexico.


© Facebook
Pat Rehn was one of several government MLAs caught travelling abroad over the Christmas holidays. Rehn had posted a photo on Facebook on Christmas Eve that appeared to show he was in Mexico.

In a scathing letter, town councillors in Slave Lake in Alberta have called for Pat Rehn, the region’s United Conservative Member of the Legislative Assembly, to resign from his position in the provincial government, saying, “we have an MLA that does not represent the people of this region.”

The call comes in the midst of an escalating “snowbird” scandal in Alberta involving several United Conservative Party MLAs and political staff having left the country or province over the holidays, which has led to deep unrest among the conservatives’ base — and political opponents in the province.

Read more .

Tuesday

‘What I’m asking from Albertans is patience’: Health minister says anger toward UCP justified



a man wearing a suit and tie:  Minister of Health Tyler Shandro in Edmonton on Dec. 7, 2020.


© Provided by Calgary Herald
Minister of Health Tyler Shandro in Edmonton on Dec. 7, 2020.

Health Minister Tyler Shandro asked Albertans for time to earn back their trust following revelations that several UCP MLAs and senior staff vacationed abroad over the holidays despite provincial guidelines to avoid non-essential travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The list includes nine UCP government officials, including Tracy Allard, who resigned her municipal affairs cabinet portfolio on Monday after vacationing in Hawaii. Premier Jason Kenney’s chief of staff Jamie Huckabay, who visited the United Kingdom over the holidays, also stepped down.

Read more .

Tuesday

Mother angry over travel scandal after Make-A-Wish trip postponed for sick son



a person standing in front of a television:  NDP MLAs Sarah Hoffman and Janis Irwin listen as Lia Lousier speaks out against vacationing UCP MLAs. Lousier’s family had to cancel a Make A Wish trip to Hawaii for her son Braeden.


© Ian Kucerak/Postmedia
NDP MLAs Sarah Hoffman and Janis Irwin listen as Lia Lousier speaks out against vacationing UCP MLAs. Lousier’s family had to cancel a Make A Wish trip to Hawaii for her son Braeden.

An Alberta mother says she’s outraged by various politicians and staff who decided to travel abroad over the holidays, while a dream trip to Hawaii for her terminally ill son had to be postponed.

Lia Lousier of Airdrie says nine-year-old Braeden is one of 100 people in the world to be diagnosed with a rare inherited connective tissue disease called Hajdu-Cheney syndrome.

Read more .

Tuesday

843 new cases, 26 deaths; 26,000 vaccines administered: Shandro

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw was joined by Health Minister Tyler Shandro and acting-Municipal Minister Ric McIver for today’s COVID-19 update.

Shandro announced the death of a second continuing care worker, a woman in her 50s who worked in the Edmonton zone.

He also announced that the province has administered over 26,000 vaccines by yesterday and will have administered over 29,000 vaccines by the end of the day Tuesday.

The latest COVID-19 statistics:

  • 843 new cases on more than 10,300 tests; 8.2% positivity rate
  • 919 in hospital; 140 in ICUs
  • 26 additional deaths; 1,168 total
  • 13,411 active cases; 91,799 recovered cases

You can watch the full update below.