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More closures and restrictions handed down by Alberta government as COVID-19 cases rise to 542

Last Updated Mar 27, 2020 at 8:53 pm MDT

Premiere Jason Kenney provides an update on COVID-19 on March 27 (Screenshot from provincial update March 27)

COVID-19 cases in Alberta rise to 542, a 56 case increase from Thursday

Social gatherings have been reduced from 50 people to a maximum of 15

Attendance at certain close-contact businesses, dine-in restaurants, and non-essential retail services now prohibited

EDMONTON (660 NEWS) — Premier Jason Kenney announced more closures and limitations to public gatherings in the province on Friday afternoon.

These new restrictions come as COVID-19 cases in Alberta rose by 56, bringing the total in the province to 542.

Alberta’s top doctor, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, says 42 of those cases are believed to have come from community transmission, an 8 case increase from Thursday.

Twenty-three people are said to be in hospital with 10 in the ICU.

As for recovered cases, Dr. Hinshaw says that number has now reached 33.

Social gatherings have now been decreased to 15 people. This includes any family gathering, including funerals.

Attendance at certain businesses will also be prohibited. This includes close contact businesses such as hair salons, tattoo parlours and more. Dine-in restaurants and non-essential retail services such as clothing stores, gaming and electronic stores and services in shopping malls are to be halted as well.

For a more in-depth list, visit the government’s website.

As well, all non-urgent diagnostic testing is also being cancelled.

The Government of Alberta is also providing relief for renters in the province, ensuring nobody can be evicted before May 1 if they are unable to make payments during this tough financial period.

“As of today, no one will be facing immediate eviction from their home for non-payment of rent or utilities owed to the landlord,” Premier Jason Kenney said. Additionally, tenants will not face increasing financial pressure from rent increases or fees for late rent payments. We are expecting landlords and tenants to work together to figure out payment plans that help everyone meet financial obligations as we manage COVID-19, and we are doing further policy work on support for renters during these tough times.”

As per the Alberta government, these protections on renters include:

  • Effective immediately, tenants cannot be evicted for non-payment of rent and/or utilities before May 1.
  • Effective immediately, rents will not increase while Alberta’s state of public health emergency remains in effect.
  • Effective April 1, late fees cannot be applied to late rent payments for the next three months.
  • Effective April 1, landlords and tenants need to work together to develop payment plans while the state of public health emergency is in effect.