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Alberta government to introduce more COVID-19 restrictions

Last Updated Nov 12, 2020 at 10:40 am MDT

On Friday, Jason Kenney addressed the province as the province saw an increase in cases over the last few days and weeks. Kenney asked those living in Calgary and Edmonton to stop holding social gatherings to curb the spread of the virus. (CREDIT: Government of Alberta)
Summary

Alberta reported 672 new cases of the virus on Wednesday

The government has been pressured by doctors to introduce lockdown measures

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – As Alberta continues to see record-breaking COVID-19 cases, it seems the UCP government is preparing to introduce more restrictions.

We could see faith gathering places like churches and mosques have stricter limits on how many people can be inside at once and more measures are expected surrounding personal gatherings as well.

A government source confirmed to 660 NEWS that Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw will announce new measures Thursday afternoon during the COVID-19 update at 3:30 p.m.

The source said this will not involve the closure of any businesses or lockdown measures.

Premier Jason Kenney is expected to join Hinshaw for the update.

RELATED: Alberta COVID-19 cases continue to climb

Meanwhile, Amy Kaler, a sociologist who has studied infectious disease and pandemics sent an open letter addressed to Premier Jason Kenney, Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, saying we’ve reached what she calls “peak responsibility”.

The letter states that what worked eight months ago isn’t going to make a big difference today and instead of asking people who refuse to follow public health guidelines to do so, penalties like fines need to be introduced for those people.

She explained if Alberta wants to move the needle any further it needs to be decisive and go with targeted lockdowns for certain hotspots or a full two-week lockdown immediately.

Earlier this week, a group of 74 doctors penned a letter to the UCP government asking for such a lockdown known as a “circuit breaker”, which was introduced in different regions in B.C. last weekend.

Another group, Masks4Canada issued a similar call, sending an open letter to the Premier and Health Minister on Wednesday.

The group is calling for the temporary closure of restaurants, bars, places of worship and indoor sports activities while schools, daycares and essential services should remain open.

“We recognize that lockdowns have their own harms, but the negative impacts of rapidly rising numbers of COVID-19 (large scale loss of life, suffering and an overwhelmed health system) necessitate strong measures in the short term,” the letter reads.

“We have confidence in Alberta‚Äôs health system and the care it provides, but we believe that it is in jeopardy unless urgent action is
taken.”

On Wednesday, Alberta reported 672 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the number of active infections to over 8,000.

Over 380 Albertans have died from the virus while 217 are currently in hospital with 46 in intensive care.