Public Facilities Closed due to Polio Spread – CCH Not Affected 1941

The Calgary Herald, August 13, 1941

Swimming Pool, Playgrounds Closed to Children

Seek to Check Polio Outbreak; Boys and Girls Must Stay Home

Boys and girls under the age of 17 throughout the province will be asked to stay in their own backyard until further notice from the provincial health authorities in Edmonton. The appearance of scattered cases of poliomyelitis throughout the province has resulted in the provincial government’s ruling in an effort to check further outbreaks of the disease

Dr. Geraldine Oakley. Director of medical services for school children in the city, announced that an official copy of the order had been received by her department today.

“Strict Interpretation of the order would mean that children should stay in their own premises,” said Dr. Oakley.

Asked if any prosecution would result to boys or girls found wondering around places of public assembly, Dr. Oakley said, “We will endeavor to enforce the order to the best of our ability.”

The text of the board’s order, copies of which were received in Calgary today, ran as follows:

“Whereas, under the regulations 72 under the Public Health Act, the provincial board, in order to reduce the tendency of any disease to spread may issue orders required the closing of specified public buildings.”


“Now, therefore the provincial board hereby orders that any of every church, school, theatre, picture show, pool room, dance hall, public swimming pool, or warding pool, public playgrounds or any other place of public assembly be closed to all children 17 years of age and under, until further notice terminating this order is announced.”

“Owners of the above-mentioned places are hereby made responsible to see that the requirements of this order are strictly observed.”

In compliance with the order public health and other city officials throughout the city moved today to close swimming pools, playgrounds, and other place where children have been congregating in large numbers during the summer months.


Complying with the order the O.O.D.E. children’s camp at Sylvan Lake will be closed Friday, it was announced today. At first officials were in some doubt as to whether or closing the camp would have to be made. Mrs. Thomas Bishop, regent, had planned a trip to the camp for Thursday, when word was received that the camp would have to be closed.

Closing the camp will mean curtailment of a two weeks holiday for 43 under-privileged youngsters who left the city only Tuesday, and complete disappointment for an additional 40 boys who were scheduled to go to the last camp of the season for the last two weeks in August.


However, no changes in plans will be made concerning the Y.M.C.A. camp Chief Hector at Bowfort. This is scheduled to close Saturday so it was decided no premature break should be made. The “Y” pool has been closed, and all assemblies of boys under the age of 17 have been prohibited at the “Y” until further notice.

The board order was issued after four new cases of the disease were reported to the Alberta health department, boosting the province’s total of 22 the season.

The new cases included a 15 year-old Edmonton girl and children in Calgary, Red Deer and Lomond, 90 miles southeast of Calgary. Three cases of the disease are now under treatment in the Edmonton isolation hospital and seven in Calgary.

Though seven cases of the disease from the city and surround district have been admitted to the Calgary Isolation hospital with the past few weeks, health offices here expressed the view that the outbreak was not serious as yet.


“However it may be just in the preliminary stages and growing” said Dr. Oakley, “and the provincial order is precautionary.”

Dr. Oakley requested that the parents co-operate by endeavoring to keep their children away from contact with crowds and other children.

Scattered cases of the disease have also been reported from out-of-town points.

At Rocky Mountain House, according to a report received today, the first case of the disease in the district this year has occurred.

The patient is Vernon Bertagnolli, 15, who is in hospital at present. Doctors report his case is a mild one and expect he will recover with few or no ill effects. Vernon is the youngest of four sons of Joseph Bertagnolli, farmer 15 miles from the Dovercourt district near Rocky. Only one other case with 50 miles of Rocky is reported. It is at Dickson, 50 miles southeast of the town.

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Calgary Herald Story from Aug 13, 1941

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