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Calgary continues to clamp down on coronavirus public health infractions

Ten tickets and 140 warnings were handed out since last Friday to Calgarians not abiding by the current coronavirus public health orders.

Still, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said the rules are clear and that most people in Calgary are following them.

“I take some exceptions people who say, you know, the rules are not clear. They’re very clear,” the mayor said in Tuesday’s coronavirus briefing.

“Stay at home as much as you can. Be at least two meters away from anybody that doesn’t live with you that isn’t in your cohort. Stay away from people who are at risk and if you are someone at risk you have a different set of rules. That’s really it.”

Calgary Emergency Management Agency Deputy Chief Sue Henry took over for Chief Tom Sampson Tuesday, and rolled out complaint and ticket numbers in the four days since last Friday.

Since Friday, 362 patrols have been conducted and 140 warnings were issued. There were three, $1,200 tickets given to adults not following physical distancing measures in Lindsay Park, Henry said. Three more tickets of $400 were issued to adults using the skatepark. Three more tickets for $120 were written up for people drinking in a public space.

“Giving out tickets is always a last resort,” said Henry.

“We need Calgarians to understand the seriousness of following the public health order by respecting physical distance requirements.”

Coronavirus calls to Calgary 311 top 1,500 since Friday

Calgary’s 311 system fielded hundreds of calls over the weekend, with 1,515 being logged since Friday. Of those, 338 were calls related to physical distancing and more than half required the dispatch of Calgary bylaw officers.

There were 58 calls about physical distancing in public spaces, 34 calls about concerns in private yards, 38 calls around playground use and 34 calls regarding public gatherings of less than 14 people, not adhering to public health guidelines.

Further, 31 calls were dispatched to police for gatherings of 15 or more people. One ticket was given.

There were also 40 calls to the city’s business license unit, and several businesses were inspected, the city said. Two businesses received warnings.

“You’re certainly not going to get one of those tickets that you talked about if you’re having a driveway visit with folks,” said Mayor Nenshi.

“I’m still saying, try to stay away from going and having a picnic or being for a period of time in the park with people who are not part of your cohort that are six feet away from you.”

The mayor said they’re targeting people who are egregious offenders, ones trying to exploit “loopholes” in the rules, he said.