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CEMA implements required isolation for international travellers

Last Updated Mar 17, 2020 at 8:57 pm MDT

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – The Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) has announced that anyone arriving in Calgary from international travels is required to go under isolation for at least 14 days.

Though only a suggestion before March 17, it is now an order.

CEMA Chief Tom Sampson said that those under isolation will be allowed visits to medical doctors, pharmacies and hospitals.

Those who arrive at Calgary International Airport and do not leave the building, or do not stay in Calgary, do not need to isolate.

Calgary Police Service (CPS) Chief Constable Mark Neufeld said CPS is currently implementing strategies prepared for situations like this.

“We have a strong history in Calgary of coming together around challenges like this and being successful,” said Neufeld.

CPS is working on a way for the public to report crimes online to limit possible contamination.

He said CPS staff is operating under AHS guidelines and there is no indication of a rise of crime and that they have enough officers so that, for anyone who calls 911, “(they) will be there, as (they) always (are)”.

Calgary Fire Chief Steve Dongworth said their COVID-19 taskforce is strategically planning everything from maintaining staff to safety precautions for crews.

“We will continue to make your safety our priority,” said Dongworth.

Calgary transit’s Russel Davies said they are implementing AHS guidelines while continuing to maintain their overall service.

The only changes are the previous cancellations of some school bus runs and, now, all services from the airport into downtown will be rear-loading.

He said they hope the rear-loading will provide social distancing for drivers as well as passengers.

Buses will continue to be cleaned thoroughly overnight.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi said he is confident in the city’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There is nowhere in the world I would rather be than here.”

He said citizens need to continue to make deliberate changes to the way they live and gave several simple pieces of advice.

“Clean hands, clear heads, open hearts. That hasn’t changed,” said Nenshi.

“Stay home, be kind, save lives.”

Everyone who spoke in the CEMA announcement today voiced their support for Alberta’s recent restrictions on social distancing.

“They made some bold moves today and it was exactly the right thing to do,” said Nenshi.