COVID-19 News from CJSR
CJSR 88.5 FM
News bites about COVID-19 in Edmonton, how it's impacting people in our community, and support services available. A pop-up podcast published weekdays by CJSR 88.5 FM, Edmonton's campus and community radio station.
Yearning for Online Learning
Yearning for Online Learning
On Friday January 14th President Flanagan of the university of alberta announced a continuation of online based learning for the u of a until February 28, three days after reading week ends. Continued safety measures will continue like onecard access being necessary for accessing campus buildings, and research, grad student training and rec services being done with physical distancing. Also announced was a new deadline of this Friday January 21st to delete any new classes, students wishing to add classes will need to do so by Tuesday January 18th. Noted as well is that the university does not require proof of a positive test to support an absence, likewise this will also follow employees and staff of the university as a supervisor may not request to see a covid test result to accommodate an absence.For more information you can visit ualberta.ca/covid-19/updatesFor CJSR this is Jarret Kamm
City Funding for Active Transportation
City funding for Active Transportation and the importance of layers!Recently, City Council approved $4 million to be put towards our nearly one hundred kilometres of missing sidewalk spaces, unsafe crossings and gaps in bike paths. This work will be done this year and next and is in line with both the city's vision of a 15-minute community and its climate goals. The city will also be considering its snow and ice removal processes, particularly in light of climate-change oriented weather conditions. This consideration is important given that last week I was talking about being active in tremendously cold weather and this week we’re seeing temperatures on the plus side of zero. Really the only consistency I can offer is Alfred Wainwright’s saying: “There's no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.” I recommend that you dress in layers regardless of the weather, so that if you’re too warm or too cold you have the layers available as needed. Furthermore, I also recommend that you carry a satchel to put your extra gear in so that you can account for temperature fluctuations during the day.
Ventilation upgrades in some Edmonton schools
In December, the Alberta Chapters of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers released guidance recommending that schools have ventilation systems that use filters with minimum efficiency reporting values of 13 or higher to try and make indoor learning as safe as possible for staff and students during the COVID-19 pandemic. These are also known as MERV-13 filters or systems. Edmonton Catholic Schools are now in the process of having MERV-13 systems installed. Edmonton Public Schools, according to the superintendent, are looking at options, and have issued a request for vendor proposals for additional room air purifiers.Produced by Hannah Cunningham.
Active Transportation in Extremely Cold Weather
Active Transportation when it’s very very cold out Wear appropriate clothingAlways wear clothing appropriate for the weather. Synthetic and wool fabrics provide better insulation. Some synthetic fabrics are designed to keep perspiration away from your body which keep you dry and further reduce your risk.Dress in layers with a wind resistant outer layer. You can remove layers if you get too warm (before you start sweating) or add a layer if you get cold.Wear warm socks, gloves, a hat and scarf in cold weather. Be sure to put a scarf over your nose to protect it.If you get wet, change into dry clothing as soon as possible. You lose heat faster when you're wet.Protect yourselfOn sunny days wear sun glasses, lip balm and sunscreen to protect your skin from UV rays and keep it moisturized to help prevent windburn.Wear a face mask and goggles if you are participating in winter activities such as skiing, snowmobiling and skating to protect your face from frostbite and windburn.Keep moving (especially your hands and feet) to keep your blood flowing and maintain your body heat.Know the weather conditionsPay attention to weather alerts in your area. Special weather statements and warnings are issued when extreme weather is possible in your area.Environment Canada issues wind chill alerts to warn you of conditions that will cause frostbite to exposed skin.
Jan 7 2022
Change in Covid-19 Testing Protocols
To preserve lab capacity for tracking outbreak in high-risk settings, the government has directed Albertans to avoid getting a PCR test and instead use at-home rapid antigen testing or assume they have COVID if they are symptomatic. Source: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/alberta-covid-coronavirus-january-4-1.6303493 Produced by Saveta Cartwright.
Jan 5 2022
Winter break extended for Alberta schools
Students in kindergarten to grade twelve in Alberta will have their winter break extended until January 10th as omicron cases rise across the province. There is no word yet on whether school will resume with in-person or online classes, but the province has promised a supply of rapid tests and medical-grade masks for staff and students. January diploma exams have been cancelled, with no word yet on the fate of spring diploma exams. Produced by Hannah Cunningham.
Jan 4 2022
Say It Dont Spray It
Welcome back, it is a new year and with our first campus update we are covering the universities plan for its 2022 winter safe plan. This plan includes three weeks of online classes and enhanced safety measures. These measures include in person campus events will be shifted online, work from home will continue and on campus activities continue with physical distancing. This measure will continue till January 23rd. Also available now are third doses, as of december 21st all individuals over the age of 18 and that had their 2nd dose more than 5 months ago can book now through ahs or calling 811. As a reminder you do not have to have an Alberta health care card to receive the vaccine. For more information you can visit ualberta.ca/covid-19 for cjsr this is jarret kamm.
Jan 3 2022
Safety tips for gatherings and happy holidays!
It is holiday season here in Alberta! Before we all take some time off to relax and recuperate, here are some quick tips on how to stay safe this holiday season. Indoor gatherings should be kept to a limit of 10 people, and virtual get-togethers should still be prioritized. We'll be taking a short break from providing COVID-19 updates, returning to our regular schedule on January 3rd. Happy holidays from the COVID-19 News team, and stay safe!Produced by Hannah Cunningham.
Dec 21 2021
Physically Distanced Greetings
For this weeks campus update we touch on the continued plans to bring staff and students back full time in person despite the recent rise of variant risks. While alberta does still remain under the provincial work from home order the university still plans on issuing the 30 day notice to staff when that order is lifted. When that could happen is another guess as the omicron variant as of December 19th had totaled over 400 new cases in the past week. In other news the alberta government announced Friday that while no plans exist to limit people there will be a new shipment of the rapid antigen test kits to pharmacys following last weeks fast rollout and even faster sell out of test kits. With complaints coming from pharmacies as they weren't able to meet the demand, with them targeting the current protocols which stipulate that if people have their family members healthcare numbers they are entitled to retrieving as many as they need. For more information you can visit ualberta.ca/covidupdate or from the campus news team happy holidays and please practice safety this holiday season. For cjsr this is Jarret Kamm
Dec 20 2021
Increased Active Transportation Funding
Implications of the City of Edmonton Supplemental budget adjustments Most excitingly, the Edmonton city council has been talking about a supplemental budget adjustment to provide 4.75 million dollars towards Active Transportation improvements and expansions to sidewalks across Edmonton. These mobility-lane and -network improvements can potentially increase safety, align with other city goals such as vision zero, and both provide support for local businesses and increase covid-compliant options for travel. This is exciting news because, in developed countries, over 75 percent of car trips are less than 10 kilometres, making cycling and walking feasible ways to get to where you want to go instead. This budget adjustment supports fixing missing links and expanding mobility lanes and mobility networks in core areas including:Fort Road from approximately 127 Avenue to 153 Avenue 127 Street from Yellowhead trail to 137 Avenue 102 Avenue from 136 Street to 139 Street 106 Street from Princess Elizabeth Avenue to 118 Avenue 105 Avenue from 101 Street to 97 Street Area Network from the area of Bonnie Doon, Strathearn, Holyrood and Idylwyld Area Network for the neighbourhoods in and around the Northlands/Exhibition lands siteThat means, there’s the potential for a new bike lane or sidewalk improvement coming to a street near you!
Dec 17 2021
Updated Public Health Restrictions
In response to the COVID-19 Omicron variant, Government of Alberta has updated Public Health Actions. Source: https://www.alberta.ca/covid-19-public-health-actions.aspx Produced by Saveta Cartwright.
Dec 15 2021
Scam Alert: AHS text message impersonators
If you get a text that says that Alberta Health Services is asking for your credit card information - it's a scam! Unfortunately, scammers have been taking advantage of the pandemic, and several COVID-19 related scams have circulated in Alberta. It is recommended that you do not click on any links that you receive from unknown senders, and do your research on companies and organizations and their practices regarding COVID-19. Produced by Hannah Cunningham.
Dec 14 2021
Teamwork make the Dream work
For this week's campus update we cover a story released this week about a provincial partnership between research universities in Alberta who are monitoring wastewater to see localized trends of covid before they happen. The University of Calgary and Alberta partnered on a 3.4$million dollar grant from the provincial government and are currently monitoring the wastewater of about 3.2 million albertans or about a third of our population and provide data about the presence of covid19 in certain municipalities through samples and an online tracker tool. Dr. Michael Perkins, an associate professor and project co-lead made the statement saying on average the testing gives them a six day warning signal of whats to come. The testing allows for researchers to see localized trends of covid 19, even on those who are asympomatic. People can watch for trends in their own community using this online tracker and can even give results of local neighborhoods. Perkins also said that the project has the potential to be used in the detection of other disease or flu outbreaks. For more info please visit the listed article on our website. For Cjsr this is Jarret Kamm
Dec 13 2021
Tawatinâ Bridge Opening December 12, 2 p.m
Tawatinâ bridge opening celebration Although it’s quite icy out, and everyone should be super-duper careful, if you’re looking for a new place to walk, the Tawatinâ bridge will be open this weekend! The bridge creates a unique opportunity for access to Edmonton’s river valley so be sure to check it out over the winter months. However, given the freeze-thaw cycles we’re experiencing, be sure to wear cleats, sturdy shoes and layers of clothing to make your walk enjoyable. You can now walk from Riverdale to Cloverdale and back again, as the bridge is completed! And most exciting, the communities are hosting a celebration for the opening of the Tawatinâ bridge on December 12. There’s be over 400 art installations, music, opportunities for donations of warm clothing, meet and greets with new local leaders, treats from local businesses and so much more! Come for the smudging ceremony and stay for the good times starting Sunday at 2 p.m. on the bridge.
Dec 10 2021
Wastewater to be Monitored to Track Rates of COVID-19 Infections Across Alberta
Alberta can now track the prevalence of COVID-19 infections in nearly 75 percent of the population thanks to the new Pan-Alberta Network for Wastewater-based SARS-CoV-2 Monitoring announced today. Source: https://www.ualberta.ca/folio/2021/12/wastewater-testing-for-sars-cov-2-virus-expands-to-most-alberta-cities.html Produced by Saveta Cartwright.
Dec 8 2021
Webinar on COVID-19 vaccines and children
Happening tonight (Dec 7)! If you are a parent or guardian of a child in this age group and have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, there is a webinar happening tonight that you may be interested in. Tim Caulfield, a law professor at the University of Alberta, will moderate a discussion with a panel of experts, including both infectious disease doctors and paediatricians. The conversation will focus on addressing concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine and children. The webinar is happening from 6-7pm tonight (Dec 7). Register here: https://ualberta.alumniq.com/index.cfm/events:register/primary/eventId/37/iqProduced by Hannah Cunningham.
Dec 7 2021
Updates come in Thirds.. Sometimes?
In this week's campus update we discuss the universities protocols for in person exams this winter, whereby all students will need to be wearing a mask and provide their campus ready pass. Also covered is December 1st’s announcement by the Alberta government to begin administering covid-19 booster vaccines to all adults starting next week. These Third doses will be available starting Monday, December 6th for those over the age of 60. Albertans are recommended to book their third dose no sooner than 6 months after their 2nd dose. You can book your shot today by calling 811 Health Link. Third doses are also available for First Nations, Metis and Inuit People older than 18. Third doses are also available for healthcare workers who in their industry provide direct patient care.Doses for younger age groups are to be released soon and we will update you when those dates arrive. In other news on November 25th the Public Health Agency of Canada revised its guidance on what kind of mask to wear. Especially they're emphasising that people should get masks that fit them well, and if non-medical they should have at least two layers of fabric and a filter layer. For more info on this you can visit the article linked on our site or cbc’s article at cbc.ca/nevws/health/canada-covid-19-mask-guidanceTo find out more you can visit both alberta.ca/covid19 or ualberta.ca/covid-19 For Cjsr this is Jarret Kamm
Dec 6 2021
Winter Cycling Opportunities
The City of Edmonton’s Winter City Strategy and Bike Edmonton are giving a limited number of studded winter tires to help people start to winter cycle! To be eligible to receive free studded winter tires, you have to a. be 16 years of age or older, b. be new or relatively new to winter cycling, c. do three winter cycling challenges by December 31, 2021. All challenges help you gain the knowledge and confidence for winter cycling! Six of the ten challenges are free. And, d. fill out a questionnaire by January 15, 2022, to tell them if the program helped you.The ChallengesWatch three of Bike Edmonton’s TikToks Watch Bike Edmonton's Winter Cycling Video, Participate in a Virtual Winter Cycling Workshop Write a short description of the challenges and rewards of starting to winter cycle Provide pictures of you and your bike out in winterGo to YEG Coffee Outside, a free drop-in outdoor coffee event held Friday mornings from 7 am-9 am in Ezio Faraone Ride five times to work, school, or for errandsAttend a Winter Cycling Handling Skills Workshop. Participate in an in-person Winter Cycling Workshop Participate in a Bike Repair 101: Intro to Bike Maintenance course or a Bike Repair 201 courses There’s still room in the Saturday, December 4th Bike Repair 101 workshop and the Saturday, December 11th Bike Repair 201: Brakes workshop Some conditions apply to the courses. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or check out the blog on the bikeedmonton.ca website Winter City works with community groups and Edmontonians to enable and promote positive winter experiences. Bike Edmonton works with Edmontonians to encourage cycling in all its forms
Dec 3 2021
Kids' vaccination numbers one week after availability
It has been almost one week since parents and guardians became able to book COVID vaccine appointments for children aged 5-11 in Alberta. According to reporting by the Calgary Herald, as of November 30th, 26 844, or 6.9%, of all children aged 5-11 in Alberta have gotten their first dose. 57 200 children have appointments booked for over the next four weeks, meaning that about 20% of children in this age group will have gotten one dose of COVID vaccine by the end of December.Produced by Hannah Cunningham.
Dec 2 2021
Vaccine Progress for the Pint Sized
On November 19th the Canadian Government announced that health canada had approved pfizer-biontechs vaccine for children. Children aged 5-11 will now have access to the vaccine when it arrives shortly at a number of 2.9 million doses being made available. Provinces and territories will be responsible once again for administering the vaccine. Comparatively the vaccine will be delivered in a ⅓ rd of the size of the doses for children 12 and older and adults. Health canada has authorized a two dose regimen to be administered three weeks apart, while the national committee of immunization recommends a space of 8 weeks. The longer spacing is encouraged by evidence of potential immunity benefits and decreased risk of Myocarditis. The government also expects vaccines for children from both Pfizer and Moderna to be submitted soon as well. For more information you can visit cbc.ca/news covid-19 For cjsr this is Jarret Kamm
Nov 29 2021