Some Calgary businesses and organizations choosing to take tougher COVID measures
CALGARY -- As Alberta experiences unprecedented increases in COVID-19 cases, a few organizations and businesses are choosing to take extra precautions beyond the measures required by the province.
The Calgary Public Library decided to cancel in-person events and programs until Nov. 27, and Dickens Pub posted a message online saying it would close for at least two to three weeks, bracing for a possible lockdown.
“You know, it feels responsible for us to be doing that and if that’s all I have control over then that’s what I’m going to do,” said Chris Hewitt, the owner of Dickens.
Calgary Food Bank decided to reimagine its annual Stuff-a-Bus fundraiser event on the weekend.
“The case numbers rising has quite an influence on that,” said communications lead Shawna Ogston.
Even though Alberta Health Services had approved the food bank event — with added safety measures including masks and hand sanitizer — officials decided to be extra cautious.
“We really didn’t want to be the catalyst for any kind of super-spreading event and wanted to make sure everyone was safe,” said Ogston.
Instead, a food drive was held, allowing Coop shoppers to donate grocery purchases while in-store or donate money online. The final tally is expected to be released in the coming days.
Some say clearer plans for dealing with the pandemic should be coming from the provincial government.
“The cases reside in the province and health and the economy are their responsibility,” said Calgary Coun. Jyoti Gondek, adding she wants to hear more from the province.
“If we need to go into major restriction or lockdown mode, 'this is the way we will help you out finically, to our business community, and to our folks who may be struggling because they might be out of work.'”
Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) Chief Tom Sampson is one of the experts recommending measures like a 28-day lockdown to get cases under control. He said Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw would have to make that call.