· The Pulse
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  • CBC News spoke to several experts who said getting a second COVID-19 booster shot will help reduce the likelihood of severe outcomes from the BA.5 variant, even though the vaccine is not particularly effective at preventing transmission. It is uncertain when a bivalent vaccine, designed to specifically target earlier versions of Omicron, might be available. "It doesn't make sense to wait when there is a vaccine available that can reduce your possibility of becoming seriously ill with this new variant," said Dr. Noel Gibney, professor emeritus in the department of critical care medicine at the University of Alberta.
  • The average sale price of a home in Edmonton reached $408,961 in 2022, up 4.73% from 2021, a relatively modest rise compared to Calgary (+5.85%), Winnipeg (+12.66%), and Vancouver (+19.69%), according to RE/MAX's 2022 Housing Affordability Report. The report attributes housing affordability challenges in the city to "residential construction delays; out-of-province/out-of-region buyers driving up demand and prices; and rising interest rates."
  • According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), Edmonton saw a 5% year-over-year increase in housing starts from June 2021 to June 2022, but a 41% decrease from May 2022 to June 2022 when seasonally adjusted at annual rates. "The decrease in monthly SAAR housing starts in Canada's urban areas was driven by lower single-detached starts in June," said CMHC's chief economist Bob Dugan, who noted that the level of housing start activity has remained historically high since 2020.
  • MacEwan University's growing enrolment is good news for downtown, argues president and vice-chancellor Annette Trimbee in an op-ed for Postmedia. "Our grads become the business and community leaders who are building a more diverse and resilient future for Edmonton and Alberta," she wrote. MacEwan plans to increase the size of its student body by 60% over the next ten years.
  • EPCOR is setting up touchless water refill kiosks at K-Days this year, which runs July 22-31. Explore Edmonton CEO Traci Bednard said the kiosks — which feature a QR code to provide users with information about the North Saskatchewan River — will reduce costs for families who no longer need to buy water on the fairgrounds.
  • Former city councillor Jon Dziadyk, who lost to Coun. Karen Principe in ward tastawiyiniwak in last fall's municipal election, will represent the United Conservative Party in Edmonton-Castle Downs in the next provincial election. "I'm excited to be an advocate for Edmonton's north side on the United Conservative team. We have to protect the progress that's been made to balance the budget, pay down debt, grow the Heritage Fund, and bring jobs and opportunity back for families in Edmonton," Dziadyk said.
  • Mint Smartwash is giving away free car washes and food from July 22-24 as part of a media event at its locations on Argyll Road and in The Meadows. Mint describes itself as a car wash that "employs state-of-the-art computer systems, innovative wash equipment, and sophisticated water reclamation systems to ensure the shiniest vehicles in an environmentally responsible way."
  • Alberta Health Services has rescinded all visitor restrictions at acute care sites. "This includes removing limits to visitation and limits to the number of designated family/support persons and visitors permitted per patient," it said in a release.