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Alberta with four presumptive cases of Coronavirus COVID-19

There are currently 13 cases of COVID-19 in British Columbia, and 22 cases in Ontario.

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A 50-year-old woman from the Calgary health zone who was on a tropical cruise recently was the province’s first presumptive case of coronavirus, health officials announced Thursday night.

The unidentified woman returned home on February 21 but did not have any symptoms. The woman is now recovering at home and is expected to recover fully.

“We take this extremely seriously, and are doing all we can to minimize risk and to keep Albertans safe. While some may be concerned, I remind Albertans that the risk is still low in our province. We are already taking the necessary precautions to prevent the infection from spreading,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Chief Medical Officer of Health for Alberta.

Hinshaw said the case was diagnosed earlier Thursday.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Chief Medical Officer of Health for Alberta.

“Health officials are currently identifying close contacts of this individual. They will also be asked to self-isolate at home, away from the public, and will be closely monitored by public health officials. If they do develop symptoms, health officials will coordinate getting them into care immediately while ensuring that the public and health-care workers are not exposed,” the government said in a release.

“Although the testing done has not yet been confirmed at the national lab, we believe that it is important to take immediate public health action to prevent the possibility of spread while we wait for confirmation,” Hinshaw said.

Hinshaw added that they are aware that other Albertans were aboard the ship but they don’t yet know how many.

“We are working with the federal government trying to get lists of those passengers who were on the ship,” she said.

A California man in his seventies also contracted the virus while on the same cruise and passed away. Reports say he had additional health factors.

On Friday, an Edmonton-area resident became the province’s second case.

Sunday, officials added two more cases bringing the total to four. The two latest cases are in Edmonton and Calgary.

A Grand Princess Cruise is currently anchored off the coast of California as some travellers and staff members were also on the same cruise as the Alberta woman and the California man. Officials said less than 100 will be tested for the virus on the current cruise that is heading to Hawaii.

There are 235 Canadians on board.

Health officials are asking anyone who has returned to Alberta from a Grand Princess Cruise in the last two weeks to self-isolate until 14 days have passed since their return.

There are currently 21 cases of COVID-19 in British Columbia, and 22 cases in Ontario.

More to come…

Deirdre Mitchell-MacLean is a Senior Reporter with Western Standard
dmaclean@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter @Mitchell_AB

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Kenney says leadership review now would be ‘grossly irresponsible’

When asked at a Tuesday press conference by the Toronto Star about the Mullan letter, Kenney responded there has been opposition to his health care policy “since Day 1.”

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney last night rejected any calls for an immediate leadership review of him as “grossly irresponsible.”

Kenney has been under withering attacks for his handling of the COVID-19 crisis in Alberta, which led to the “resignation” Tuesday of Health Minister Tyler Shandro.

A UCP caucus meeting is set for Wednesday and Kenney’s leadership is expected to be the main point of discussion.

Dozens of grassroots UCP constituency associations have joined forces to call for an early leadership review of Kenney. The party currently has one scheduled in late 2022, only six months before the next provincial election.

UCP VP of policy Joel Mullan wrote an open letter in the Western Standard Tuesday called for Kenney to go immediately.

When asked at a Tuesday press conference by the Toronto Star about the Mullan letter, Kenney responded there has been opposition to his health care policy “since Day 1.”

“My responsibility is to look at the reality — not wish it away — and take the necessary steps to protect the health care system,” Kenney said.

“Let’s deal with those things at the right time, after this crisis.”

Kenney was asked if the internal turmoil within the UCP was what led to the resignation of Shandro.

“I am focused on getting through the fourth wave of COVID, not politics,” Kenney said.

“We have to protect the health care system to prevent needless deaths — we will not allow politics to distract us.”

Kenney said he knew when he brought in the fourth wave of COVID-19 lockdowns last week and flip-flopped on his promise not to bring in vaccine passports there would be internal grumblings.

He said the COVID-19 cabinet committee has had 12 hours of “respectful” meeting time with the full UCP caucus.

Kenney pointed out the People’s Party of Canada, which ran on an anti-vaccination platform, took 8% of the vote in Alberta in the federal election.

“Let me be blunt, those people likely voted for me in the last provincial election,” Kenney said.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Kenney said shuffle was ‘time for a fresh start’

Dr. Deena Hinshaw said 29 Albertans died in the last 24 hours from COVID-19, including people who had been doubled-vaxxed, but included many people who hadn’t received any vaccinations at all.

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Tyler Shandro wasn’t fired as health minister, he resigned, says Premier Jason Kenney.

Answering questions after Tuesday’s cabinet shuffle, Kenney said he accepted the resignation from Shandro from the health portfolio.

“Tyler’s dedication to the job has never been questioned. He brought his heart to the job,” Kenney said.

“It’s time for a fresh start.”

Kenney denied the shuffle was done to appease critics in the UCP caucus clamouring for action.

“We are focused on getting through the fourth wave of COVID-19, not politics,” said Kenney.

Kenney promoted Labour Minister Jason Copping to health and put Shandro in his old portfolio in labour.

Kenney said bringing in vaccine passports has had a dramatic effect on the number of people getting vaccinated.

A total of 23,000 people were vaccinated on Monday with 78,000 jabs being given out in the last few days.

A total of 81.4% of people have received at least one vaccine with 72.8% having two jabs.

Since they were made available on Sunday, more than two million Albertans printed out their vaccination passports, Kenney said.

He said Alberta Health Services has expanded the number of ICU beds in the province to 337.

Copping said he was honoured to be named health minister in this “pivotal time.”

He said he has three goals: to increase hospital capacities permanently, educate the unvaccinated on why they should get jabs and to prepare the hospital system for any future waves of COVID.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw said 29 Albertans had died in the last 24 hours from COVID-19, including people who had been doubled-vaxxed, but included many people who hadn’t received any vaccinations at all.

She said the province had identified 1,500 new cases in the last day from 13,600 tests for an 11.1% positivity rate.

There are 996 people in hospital as of September 21 with COVID, and 222 in ICU.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Jean thinking about Fort Mac by-election run

On Tuesday, Jean posted a picture of himself speaking on a mic with a graphic of the riding.

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Former Wildrose leader Brian Jean is musing whether or not to run in a by-election in Fort McMurray.

On Tuesday, Jean posted a picture of himself speaking on a mike with a graphic of the riding behind him.

“There is a byelection coming soon in my old riding in Fort McMurray. Should I run?” he asks Facebook followers.

“Let me know in the comments. Sign up on my webpage for updates.”

The riding was left vacate recently when UCP MLA Laila Goodridge resigned to run for the federal Conservatives. She easily won the riding capturing 67% of the vote.

Jean was the leader of the original Wildrose and was leader of the Opposition from 2015 to 2017.

He ran for the leadership of the UCP, but lost the race to Jason Kenney.

Jean has been increasingly slamming Kenney from the sidelines over his handling of numerous issues.

He called on Kenney to resign after his infamous Sky Palace dinner.

Jean, called on Alberta Premier Jason Kenney to resign in the wake of the Sky Palace Scandal.

“FOR THE GOOD OF THE UCP, FOR THE GOOD OF ALBERTA, IT IS TIME FOR JASON KENNEY TO RESIGN,” Jean wrote in capital letters on his Facebook page.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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