All public events cancelled in Calgary until June 30 due to COVID-19
CALGARY -- All public events in Calgary have been cancelled until June 30.
Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) Chief Tom Sampson made the announcement Friday during the city's daily COVID-19 update.
All permits for events in Calgary parks have also been cancelled until June 30. A public health order in place also bars gatherings of more than 15 people.
"That means a lot of charity walks and runs that happen in the spring won't be happening," said Mayor Naheed Nenshi.
But Nenshi is hoping one event — the city's annual Neighbour Day — will still go ahead in some form. Neighbour Day is held on the third Saturday in June each year to celebrate how Calgarians came together and supported each other after the 2013 flood.
"What are your ideas for how to celebrate Calgary's Neigbour Day this year?" Nenshi asked during the daily update. "Tweet them, Instagram them, I'm going to make up a hashtag right now, #yycneighbourday.
"Share your ideas and let's figure out how, even though we might not be able to have our block parties in June, we can still celebrate Neighbour Day and celebrate the tremendous spirit of neighbourliness."
The city's Plus-15 system — a network of pedestrian walkways between commercial buildings downtown — has also been closed.
Playgrounds are closed but parks and pathways remain open. Sampson said road closures will be in place this weekend in an effort to allow pedestrians and cyclists to stay two metres away from each other.
As of Thursday afternoon, there have been 968 cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Alberta and 13 deaths have been reported as a result of complications.
Of the confirmed cases, 589 are in the Calgary Zone and 247 are in the Edmonton Zone.
Officials also confirmed Thursday an outbreak has been reported at nine seniors care facilities in the province.
The City of Calgary declared a state of local emergency on March 15, which was renewed earlier this week. As a result, all city-run facilities are closed and Calgarians are asked to self-isolate wherever possible and stay at least two metres away from other people.
The province has also declared a state of public health emergency.
The mayor says closing several popular facilities, including the zoo, Heritage Park, and TELUS Spark has come at a price - he estimates the city is losing $10-15 million a week in revenue from all the changes. However, Naheed Nenshi also says he hopes the federal government will eventually provide cash relief to municipalities, as Ottawa is currently able to borrow money at an extremely low rate of interest.
With files from Chris Epp