Posts Tagged "Edmonton"

11May

A look inside the Edmonton Convention Centre after emergency pandemic shelter closes

by admin

It’s been nearly two weeks since the temporary pandemic shelter closed at the Edmonton Convention Centre. Now that the city’s most vulnerable have moved out, the building will need to undergo some repairs in order to get it ready for when events are allowed to operate again.

Tipinawâw opened at the convention centre on Oct. 30, 2020, to provide the city’s vulnerable population with shelter through the winter. The 24/7 accommodation provided people with a number of services, including meals, laundry and showers, as well as mental health and cultural supports.

Demand for the services was high, with Tipinawâw consistently full for both day and overnight services. More than 600 people accessed drop-in day services per day, and upwards of 300 stayed overnight.

Read more:
Temporary shelter at Edmonton Convention Centre closes after 6 months

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On Tuesday afternoon, Global News was given a tour of the facility.

Several broken windows were boarded up with wood, after dozens of panes of glass were broken over the six-month period the shelter was in operation.

“We just ended up covering it up, waiting until the end. Now we’re just going through, getting some quotes to do the replacements. Initial estimates for glass replacement are in the $60,000 range so far,” said Arlindo Gomes, the Edmonton Convention Centre’s vice-president of business development and venues management.

“During this activation the glass did suffer a bit more damage than we would normally expect.”


Click to play video: 'Tipinawâw temporary shelter closes after 6 months at Edmonton Convention Centre'







Tipinawâw temporary shelter closes after 6 months at Edmonton Convention Centre


Tipinawâw temporary shelter closes after 6 months at Edmonton Convention Centre – Apr 30, 2021

Another area that saw damage was the washrooms, which had graffiti on several of the stalls.

Gomes anticipates the total damages to cost about $100,000.

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Overall, he said the rest of the repairs are typical after hosting any event at the facility.

“I think this is what we expected. We thought given just the amount of window space that we have that we might have some damage. But largely, the building has stood up really well. The carpets are in great shape, they’re meant for high volume and traffic. There’s no real damage or concern there.”


A look inside the Edmonton Convention Centre Tuesday, May 11, 2021, after the temporary pandemic shelter closed on April 30.


Global News

Mayor Don Iveson has previously said some windows needed to replaced and some of the bathrooms could use some work. Iveson said Monday that repair costs were factored in to the overall budget for the shelter.

“It’s a very hard-wearing facility. People forget that we run raves there, high school grads. The building can actually stand up to quite a lot,” the mayor said.

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“So that said, we always also assumed that there was going to be some costs and some refurbishments required — some of which were necessary anyway. Now we’ve got some time over the summer to create those jobs, do that work and it was always within that $13 million budget that we had overall.”


A look inside the Edmonton Convention Centre Tuesday, May 11, 2021, after the temporary pandemic shelter closed on April 30.


Global News

Iveson is confident the work will be done well before COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and larger events can be held at the site.

“We would love to bring people back to work — servers and chefs and folks who, we were able to keep some employed during the Convention Centre activation, but those folks want to get back to work just like we all want to get back out into events in the community,” he said.

“The building will be ready, I’m confident of that.”

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Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic hitting last spring, the ECC employed between 400 and 500 people at any given time. Gomes said about 300 of those employees have been laid off since last March, but they were able to bring back about 150 people for the six-month activation of the shelter.

“We certainly had an opportunity to recall many of those staff during the activation here from October to April,” he said.

“They were excited to be able to contribute and make a difference and I think, through the activation, learned a lot and appreciated the opportunity to be here.”

Read more:
Temporary shelter at Edmonton Convention Centre has seen 317 people per day, 157 at night

Gomes said the building will likely be ready to reopen September, if public health measures allow. Several organizations have pushed their large events to next year, but Gomes said some are still holding dates for later this year.

— With files from Sarah Ryan, Global News.





© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

30Apr

Temporary shelter at Edmonton Convention Centre closes after 6 months

by admin

The temporary pandemic shelter at the Edmonton Convention Centre will close its doors Friday.

Tipinawâw opened at the convention centre on Oct. 30, 2020 to provide the city’s vulnerable population with shelter through the winter.

The 24/7 accommodation provided people with a number of services, including meals, laundry and showers, as well as mental health and cultural supports.

Read more:
Temporary shelter at Edmonton Convention Centre has seen 317 people per day, 157 at night

Demand for the services was high, with Tipinawâw consistently full for both day and overnight services, the City of Edmonton said Friday.

More than 600 unique individuals accessed drop-in day services per day. Upwards of 300 people stayed overnight each day. A total of 5,000 unique people access the facility over the six-month period it was open.

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“Tipinawâw has provided vulnerable Edmontonians with a place to go, to stay safe and warm and to access important services to support them on their path towards stable housing,” said Christel Kjenner, director of affordable housing and homelessness.

“The collaborative response of the homeless serving sector has been critical in meeting the needs of vulnerable people since the start of the pandemic when physical distancing requirements reduced the shelter spaces and day spaces available.”

The total cost of Tipinawâw was $13.9 million. The federal and provincial governments provided $8 million through funding to help municipalities respond to COVID-19. Other funding was provided by the City of Edmonton ($2.5 million), Homeward Trust ($1.65 million) and the Family and Community Support Services Program ($1.5 million).


Click to play video: 'Edmonton approves $8.1M to transition homeless population out of temporary shelters'







Edmonton approves $8.1M to transition homeless population out of temporary shelters


Edmonton approves $8.1M to transition homeless population out of temporary shelters – Apr 9, 2021

With Tipinawâw closing, day services will be provided at other locations beginning Saturday.

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Bissell Centre will restart daytime services at its location at 10530 – 96 St. Extended daytime hours will be offered seven days a week. People will have access to meals, washrooms, mental health, financial, employment, housing and cultural services.

Read more:
How the Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society used Cree language to bring home missing man

Boyle Street Community Services will offer additional daytime services and hours at its location at 10116 – 105 Ave. Access to washrooms, clothing and personal hygiene supplies, cultural supports, housing, mental health and ID services will be offered.

When it comes to overnight services, the city said there are spaces available within the existing shelter system.

Hope Mission will transfer its temporary shelter operations from Commonwealth Stadium to the Spectrum building at the Exhibition Lands. It will be open from May until Oct. 31, 2021. The space will be able to accommodate up to 150 per day and offer overnight shelter, meals, washrooms, showers and social supports.

Hope Mission downtown, Women’s Emergency Accommodation Centre, Youth Empowerment & Support Services are all still open 24/7. The Mustard Seed is also operating 24/7 and overnight shelter spaces at four churches on the south side.




© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

12Apr

Transgender boy bullied at Edmonton school speaks out: ‘They just need to learn’

by admin

In March, Jasper Hicks received vile messages from some of his classmates, after using the boy’s washroom at J.J. Bowlen Junior High School in Edmonton.

The texts, which were sent in a lengthy group chat that included multiple other students and shared with Global News, expressed blatant transphobia and hateful comments towards the teen.

Read more:
Sex vs. gender: What J.K. Rowling got wrong that you can get right

“I could just switch genders mid-day,” reads one text. “So I could just walk into the girls bathroom whenever. I’ll keep that in mind.”

“Jasper, do you have a penis or a vagina?” reads another. “Let me just break it down for you.”

“There was messages that said ‘Jasper, nobody loves you, nobody gets you,” Jasper’s mom, Amanda Hicks said. “They were vicious. It was hard to read.”

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“I just want to educate you,” Jasper responded to one student. “This is literally harassment.”

Jasper returned to school in January for the first time after transitioning. The group chat was his first experience with transphobia, but he said he wasn’t surprised.

“This sounds bad…but, it was kind of bound to happen,” Jasper told Global News. “I was mentally prepared for it anyway.”

Read more:
With health-care disparity rampant, trans people turn to each other for help

J.J Bowlen’s principal brought Jasper in to discuss the texts. His parents, Amanda and Corey Hicks, said the principal suggested Jasper use a gender neutral washroom or a staff bathroom instead. They said Jasper was told “boys will be boys” in response to his experience with the other students, while two of his friends were present inside the office.

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“It was unbelievably disappointing,” Amanda said. “This school has created a culture where these types of conversations are okay.”

In a statement to Global News, an Edmonton Catholic School Division (ECSD) spokesperson said “we are deeply saddened that the student had an ongoing negative experience during such a pivotal time in his life. We are committed to continuing to work with the family to make sure their son feels safe and welcome in the school.”

ECSD declined to comment on any specifics between staff or students, due to privacy legislation.

Read more:
Vancouver rally draws accusations of transphobia, misinformation

A letter addressed to the Hicks family from the deputy superintendent, Tim Cusack, detailed that the J.J. Bowlen principal “expressed his genuine and profound remorse regarding the way this matter has unfolded.” It went on to say that he “fully acknowledges that despite the intent of his interactions in support of Jasper, the impact was not as intended.”

Under the direction of ECSD, All J.J. Bowlen staff, including its principal, are undergoing inclusivity training.

The Hicks are now calling on ECSD to provide mandatory training for all staff and students in the district.

“We need mandatory training of educators for everyone. Not just for transgender issues but all [LGBTQ+] issues,” Corey said.

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ECSD said it acknowledges “we have work to do with the school community to ensure all students, staff and families will be provided with an inclusive, welcoming, caring…environment.”


Click to play video: 'CMHA highlights the obstacles people face when coming out as transgender'







CMHA highlights the obstacles people face when coming out as transgender


CMHA highlights the obstacles people face when coming out as transgender – Dec 3, 2020


Why Jasper is speaking out

The 14-year-old said he understands speaking about his experiences publicly could lead to more transphobia — both online and at school.

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But, he felt it was important to try to use his own experience as a teachable moment.

Read more:
Coronavirus: many transgender, non-binary Canadians report health-care interruptions

“People that don’t understand me or don’t accept me, are just ignorant,” he explained. “They don’t know the facts. They just need to learn.”

Jasper said he is hopeful that other transgender kids may take comfort in hearing him share his story firsthand.

“So they know they aren’t alone. There are other people out there going through the same things,” Jasper said.

“We are very proud of the strength that Jasper has, but what about the other students that didn’t have that strength?” Amanda said. “Reading through that chat…through those horrible messages, the harassment…he was trying to educate. He was trying to make the world a better place.”

Amanda and Corey believe without further action, Jasper’s experience will continue to mirror the stories of other trans teens.

“Being an ally is an every day thing. It’s not a thing that happens one week in June,” Amanda said. “How do we stand up and protect our youth today?”


Click to play video: 'Transgender Awareness Week: Margot’s Story'







Transgender Awareness Week: Margot’s Story


Transgender Awareness Week: Margot’s Story – Nov 17, 2020


How to support trans teens

 

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Dr. Kris Wells, a MacEwan University professor and leading national researcher on gender and youth, said Jasper’s story can be a learning opportunity for all of us.

“I really want to celebrate his courage and strength for speaking out,” Wells said during an interview on Global News at Noon. “That resiliency is amazing.”

Wells said there are four things a school can do to create a safe space for LGBTQ+ youth:

  1. Inclusive curriculum
  2. Finding supportive teachers
  3. Comprehensive sexual and gender identity policies
  4. Visibility and inclusion

Wells said if other students are uncomfortable with a trans student using the same washroom as them, they are the ones who should be getting an accommodation to use a private washroom.

“Because otherwise we are sending the wrong message.

“Trans youth are not the problem here, transphobia is.”

Though not all transgender teens will be ready to share their story openly like Jasper did, Wells said it’s essential to find a trusted adult to talk to.

“You don’t have to justify your existence. You are valid. You deserve to be safe and included in your school.”


Click to play video: 'Dr. Kris Wells shares 4 ways people can help transgender students in schools'







Dr. Kris Wells shares 4 ways people can help transgender students in schools


Dr. Kris Wells shares 4 ways people can help transgender students in schools – Apr 14, 2021




© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

9Apr

Edmonton will provide free menstrual products in city buildings by June 16 | Watch News Videos Online

by admin

The City of Edmonton will be offering free menstrual products in all women’s and gender-inclusive washrooms in city-owned facilities this year. Sarah Komadina spoke with Scarlet Bjornson from No Woman Without, which works to increase access to menstrual products for all women.

9Apr

Edmonton approves $8.1M from COVID-19 reserve fund to transition homeless population out of temporary shelters

by admin

With the temporary pandemic shelter at the Edmonton Convention Centre scheduled to close at the end of the month, as well as the closure of other temporary shelters, the city has updated its plans to care for those experiencing homelessness.

Tipinawâw opened as a 24/7 shelter location in October and was originally scheduled to close at the end of March, but council approved additional funding at the beginning of March to extend operations at the convention centre until April 30.

In a news release Friday, the city said it will go forward with the closure of Tipinawâw on April 30. People who have been staying overnight will be supported at other shelter spaces, the city said.

Read more:
Temporary shelter at Edmonton Convention Centre to remain open through April

In addition, the Mustard Seed has closed its temporary shelter on 99 Street. Several people who access this service have been transitioned to several churches on the south side and the the Strathcona Neighbour Centre.

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Hope Mission will also be moving its operations from Commonwealth Stadium to the Spectrum building, which is part of the former horserace track site south of the Edmonton Expo Centre. The city said it will license the building for temporary use.

To make up for these closures, the overnight spaces will be supplemented with up to 200 new transitional housing spaces, which the city said will primarily be funded by Homeward Trust through federal funding. The city said the province has indicated there are enough shelter beds to accommodate everyone who needs emergency shelter.

“COVID-19 has increased both the number of people falling into homelessness and the gap in services to support them,” said Christel Kjenner, director of housing and homelessness with the City of Edmonton.

“With careful consideration of available funding, spaces at facilities and resources, we are able to keep people safe during the pandemic by providing essential services and leading to greater housing outcomes.”


Click to play video: 'Temporary homeless shelters in Edmonton set to close'







Temporary homeless shelters in Edmonton set to close


Temporary homeless shelters in Edmonton set to close – Mar 7, 2021

The city will also create new daytime drop-in spaces for people to utilize during the spring and summer. Existing spaces will also extend their drop-in hours.

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A new city-owned building at 10542-105 St. will open 57 new daytime drop-in spaces. Boyle Street Community Services is planning 45 additional spaces and extending hours from five to seven days per week. Bissell Centre will also reopen 50 spaces with extended daytime hours seven days a week.

The city said altogether, 152 additional daytime spaces will be available across the city and serve upwards of 695 people per day.

Temporary mobile washrooms with attendants will be placed in up to six locations downtown and in other business areas from May to October, the city said. The exact locations were not specified Friday.

On Friday, council approved $8.1 million of the city’s COVID-19 Financial Stabilization Reserve to cover costs associated with the plan.

Read more:
Report on Edmonton’s handling of homelessness during extreme cold slammed by community safety task force member

The city said it is also in talks with the Edmonton Police Service and agency partners on a coordinated approach to encampments.

Last summer, a number of large encampments popped up in different areas of the city, including Camp Pekiwewin in the Rossdale neighbourhood.

After much back and forth between the city and camp organizers, the camp eventually closed in early November.

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The Peace Camp in Old Strathcona was also dismantled in early November after the encampment was set up first at Wilbert Mcintyre Park then at Light Horse Park.





© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

9Apr

Edmonton will provide free menstrual products in city buildings by June 16

by admin

Following a campaign by No Woman Without, Period and a pilot project, the City of Edmonton will be offering free menstrual products in all women’s and gender-inclusive washrooms in city-owned facilities.

Campaign founder Scarlet Bjornson didn’t expect the decision but was thrilled to receive a call from Councillor Andrew Knack on Thursday.

“They just decided this was the right thing to do,” Bjornson said.

“I’m elated, overwhelmed, excited, thrilled — all of the positive emotions you can feel. Motivated, did I say that?”

Read more:
Donation drive collects feminine hygiene products for Edmonton women in need

The No Woman Without, Period campaign started in 2017.

“We saw that providing the menstrual products to different organizations was a really good first step but we wanted to focus on making the change at our local governments,” Bjornson said.

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Click to play video: 'Period poverty increasing during pandemic'







Period poverty increasing during pandemic


Period poverty increasing during pandemic – Oct 10, 2020

The team has been working with several councillors, including Knack, Sarah Hamilton and Aaron Paquette, for years, Bjornson said, thanking them for their support.

“I was not expecting a city-wide facility decision. I was blown away.”

“What this means for people who experience menstruation is the ability to roam and be in the community is now feasible,” Bjornson explained.

These products are expensive and for some they’re unattainable.

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“To know that those issues are covered and those products will be available for them so that they can be in those spaces, it makes the community more accessible.”

Edmonton’s pilot began in 2019, councillor Bev Esslinger said, and the supplies will be in place no later than June 16.

“Really, it’s 2021 and it’s part of human kindness.

Read more:
Group calls for free menstrual products in all publicly funded Ontario schools in open letter

“We’ve done a pilot project in the city and we found out that it was important to have access. And really, as part of our gender equality work, this is an extension,” Esslinger said. “I’m really excited.”

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“We know that a third of Canadians under 25 struggle in this area to get adequate resources,” Esslinger said.

“We provide soap and paper towels, so it seems like a natural thing that we should provide some basic necessities as well.”

Bjornson said she didn’t expect the campaign would make so much progress in just four years.


Click to play video: 'Edmonton will provide free menstrual products in city buildings by June 16'







Edmonton will provide free menstrual products in city buildings by June 16


Edmonton will provide free menstrual products in city buildings by June 16 – Apr 9, 2021

“This motivated us to go to the province, and go other cities and even go to the country and say: ‘It’s time to have this conversation really, really loud.’

“In the coming months, we would love to see a big wave of red across our country where cities just decide… this is the right thing to do.”

No Woman Without, Period is urging people to write letters of advocacy to their councillors, MLAs and MPs, pushing for an end to period poverty.

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Read more:
One-third of young Canadian women can’t afford menstrual products, report finds

Amanda Cardinal has experienced that first hand. She was living on the street this time last year.

“Women need these,” she said. “They should have access.”

When she needed supplies, while living on street, she was faced with a difficult decision.

“To tell you the truth, I had to go steal it. I had nowhere else to go.”


Click to play video: 'Charity provides menstrual products for Indigenous girls and women'







Charity provides menstrual products for Indigenous girls and women


Charity provides menstrual products for Indigenous girls and women – Oct 24, 2020

Last February, the Scottish parliament became the first nation in the world to make sanitary products freely available to all women.

The legislation made products such as tampons and sanitary pads free for all women in Scotland, available at designated public places such as community centres, youth clubs and pharmacies.

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© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

11Jun

Bell launches 5G network in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver | CBC News

by admin

Bell is beginning to roll out a new 5G wireless network in five cities, joining the global race to deploy the high-speed technology.

It is the second of Canada’s Big Three telecom companies to launch its plan for fifth-generation deployment.

The new service is now available for customers in Montreal, the Greater Toronto Area, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver, the company said.

Rival Rogers Communications Inc. activated its 5G network earlier this year in downtown Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.

The new networks offer those with 5G-enabled smartphones faster data speeds and faster response times.

“It is the next generation of wireless technology and will have a fundamental shift in the future to how we interact in many parts of our life, whether it’s smart cities, whether it’s autonomous vehicles, whether it’s a mobile gaming experience, whether it’s virtual reality,” Bell Mobility president Claire Gillies said.

The full potential of 5G technology won’t be reached until Bell deploys higher-frequency bands called “millimetre-wave” spectrum, which requires installation of thousands of cereal box-sized “microcells” within hundreds of metres on each other on structures ranging from bus stops to billboards.

“There’s many things that will happen before we get to millimetre wave, but that’s when you get some of the ultra-fast speeds that you often hear referred to,” Gillies said.

Bell chooses Ericsson, Nokia over Huawei

Last week, Bell Canada announced that Sweden-based Ericsson will be its second supplier of the radio access network equipment — a major component in 5G networks — following its choice of Finland’s Nokia in February.

Telus Corp., which uses Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. equipment extensively in its current network, announced hours later that it too had selected Ericsson and Nokia for its 5G network needs.

The announcements came as Ottawa continues its review of Huawei’s role in Canada’s 5G networks over security concerns due to suspicions about the company’s relationship with China’s government.

“There’s a significant amount of uncertainty as the government has yet to make a decision on Huawei’s participation in 5G in the Canadian market,” Gillies said.

The United States has warned Canada, the United Kingdom and other allies that it will limit intelligence sharing with countries that have Huawei equipment in their 5G networks — citing its potential use for spying by China, an allegation Huawei denies.

UWO research centre plans

On Thursday, Bell also announced partnership plans for a 5G research centre at Western University in London, Ont., that will include a campus-wide 5G network.

“As the world rapidly embraces the fifth generation of wireless, Bell is ready to ensure Canada remains at the forefront of 5G innovation and accessibility,” said Mirko Bibic, chief executive of Bell Canada and parent company BCE.

“The COVID-19 crisis has clearly underscored the critical importance of high-quality networks to keeping consumers, businesses and governments connected and informed, and Bell remains committed to building the best as we take wireless into the next generation.”

24Feb

Two new measles cases in Vancouver as outbreak spreads to Edmonton

by admin

Vancouver health authorities confirmed two new cases of measles in the city, separate from the ongoing outbreak linked to two francophone schools.

The two individuals contracted measles while travelling and are unrelated to the outbreak that began at École Jules‐Verne and École Rose-Des-Vents.

The update came the same day Alberta Health Services issued a measles exposure warning in that province, after a passenger with measles travelled from Vancouver to Edmonton on an Air Canada flight earlier this month.

According to AHS, an individual with a confirmed case of measles was found to have visited Leduc, Alta. while infectious. The person boarded Air Canada flight AC236 departing from Vancouver International Airport on Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 10:25 a.m. and landed at Edmonton International Airport around 12:54 p.m.

Related

The infected traveller then took an airport shuttle, which dropped off travellers to Paradise Inn and Suites, Crystal Star Inn, Wyndham Garden Edmonton Airport, and Wingate by Wyndham between 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Other exposure times include Feb. 12 at Walmart Supercentre (5 to 7 p.m.); Feb. 13 on board an airport shuttle pickup from Crystal Star Inn (6:30 to 7a.m.), a Canadian North Flight #5T-444 to Inuvik departing from Edmonton airport around 7:45 a.m.; Feb. 12 and 13 at Stars Inn Hotel (3 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.)

“Given the timeframe of the potential exposure, post-exposure immunization is not effective,” read a AHS health advisory.

“Individuals are encouraged to monitor for symptoms for 21 days after the date of potential exposure, which could be up to March 5, 2019.”

VCH is expected to provide an update Sunday afternoon about the new cases of measles.

A measles outbreak is underway in Vancouver, after an unvaccinated child contracted the disease during a trip to Vietnam last month. The child visited B.C. Children’s Hospital and returned to school in late January and early February, prompting Vancouver Coastal Health to issue a warning.

Up to 36 people linked to the child’s school have been ordered to stay at home because they are either unvaccinated and are waiting out the incubation period, or have been able to provide proof of immunization.

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