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Dr Hinshaw calls leaking of information to media a personal betrayal

Last Updated Nov 26, 2020 at 4:39 pm MST

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw updates media on the COVID-19 situation in Edmonton on Friday March 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Dr Deena Hinshaw provided a daily update on Alberta’s COVID-19 response.

She also addressed reports of secretly recorded meetings with government officials about public health restrictions.

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health criticized a member of her inner circle for leaking confidential information to the media.

“I am profoundly disappointed that confidential, internal conversations have been shared, actions that are a violation of the public service oath and code of conduct. This is a personal betrayal, and a betrayal of the trust our hard-working team has placed in each other.”

A report by CBC News tied to anonymous sources cited meetings between Hinshaw and her colleagues who were developing recommendations to fight the pandemic.

The article references discussions in which Hinshaw and Premier Jason Kenney’s government were at odds on some aspects of policy.

Kenney has dismissed the allegations.

When asked about whether she recommended a full month lockdown, Hinshaw said she provided the cabinet with a range of options.

Health Minister Tyler Shandro said the province would issue an emergency alert to Albertans.

Dispatched at 4:20 p.m. to smartphones, tablets, TV and radio, the alert notified Albertans of the public health emergency.

COVID-19 response

Alberta reported 15 new cases and 12 recoveries of COVID-19 in the RMWB over the last 24 hours.

There are 179 active cases, two deaths, and 492 recovered cases of the infection within the urban service area.

Outside the urban service area, there are 28 active cases and 73 resolved cases of COVID-19.

The Municipality previously announced an extension of 30 days to the Face Covering Bylaw.

READ MORE: RMWB Face Covering Bylaw extended for additional 30 days

The bylaw first came into effect on Oct. 26, 2020.

Alberta Health Services also included Father Patrick Mercredi Community High School on the province’s COVID-19 watch list.

Alberta includes schools that declare an outbreak with at least five cases where disease could have been acquired or transmitted.

The Fort McMurray Catholic School Division (FMCSD) released information on the transition to off-site learning.

Father Mercredi and Holy Trinity schools will close for in-person instruction on Nov. 27, with an exception for specialized programs.

“We recognize this is an uneasy time for many with new restrictions and the transition coming to off-site learning (scenario #3) for our grade 7-12 students. We also recognize that for our staff at Father Mercredi and Holy Trinity High Schools, there is a great deal of effort and planning which occurs when switching from in-person classroom instruction to off-site instruction.”

Holy Trinity also had links to between two and four cases of COVID-19 where transmission may be possible.

Off-site learning for students in grades 7-12 begins on Dec. 1, according to provincial COVID-19 regulations.

Instructional days for FMCSD students are Dec. 4, 2020, and Jan. 8, 2021.

“Please be assured we will continue to work closely with Alberta Health Services to ensure we follow their ongoing recommendations as we transition to off-site learning for grades 7-12.”

There is no change to the school calendar for elementary schools in the FMCSD.

A full breakdown on the FMCSD transition to off-site learning is available on their website.

Alberta reports 1077 new cases and ten additional deaths linked to COVID-19.

The positivity rate for the latest round of testing for 15,932 swabs is around 6.8 per cent.

28 more Albertans are in hospital receiving treatment for COVID-19 to bring the total to 383.

84 are in intensive care, up from 71 on Nov. 25.

There are 14,052 active cases, 510 deaths, and 37,316 recoveries of COVID-19 in Alberta.

This article includes excerpts from The Canadian Press.