COVID-19 Weekly Regional Update

COVID-19 Weekly Regional Update

Michelle Pinon
News Advertiser

New province-wide restrictions were announced by Premier Jason Kenney on December 8.

The mandatory measures were put in place in response to increasing COVID-19 case numbers in both urban and rural communities throughout Alberta.

Over 50 percent of communities have been placed under enhanced measures. Alberta Health, Alberta Health Services and local municipalities continue to closely monitor the spread across the province.

In the region cases rose significantly, some rates tripling from last week’s numbers. As of Dec. 7, there were 60 cases, 34 active cases, 26 recovered cases, and 0 deaths in Veg/Minburn County. There were 69 cases, 40 active cases, 28 recovered cases, and 1 death in Two Hills County. There were 44 cases, 16 active cases, 28 recovered cases, and 0 deaths in Lamont County. There were 53 cases, 18 active cases, 34 recovered cases, and 1 death in Tofield, (Beaver County West). There were 82 cases, 6 active cases, 76 recovered cases, and 0 deaths in Viking, (Beaver County East). There were 318 cases, 99 active cases, 219 recovered cases, and 0 deaths in Smoky Lake County.

In Alberta there were 72,028 total cases, 1,727 cases on Dec. 7, 51,000 recovered cases, 640 deaths, 20,388 active cases, 654 In hospital, 112 In intensive care. There were 2,410,675 total tests completed, (19,109 on Dec. 7) 1,534,783 people tested

Expanded mandatory health measures that will be in effect for the next four weeks now apply to all Albertans, including businesses, organizations and service providers. All indoor and outdoors social gatherings, public and private are prohibited. This does not apply to caregivers, health or child care providers, and co-parenting arrangements.

Close contacts are limited to household members only. Individuals who live alone may have the same two non-household contacts for the duration of the restriction.

Mandatory masking is required in indoor workplaces and facilities outside the home. It applies to employees, visitors and the general public. Farm operations are excluded.

Mandatory work from home measures will be implemented unless the employer determines that work requires a physical presence for operational effectiveness.

Beginning Dec. 13 retail services must reduce customer capacity to 15 percent of fire code occupancy, with a minimum of five customers. Restaurants, pubs, bars, lounges and cafes will be closed to in-person service. Only take out, curbside pick up, and delivery services are permitted.

Casinos, bingo halls, gaming entertainment centres, racing entertainment centres, horse tracks, raceways, bowling alleys, pool halls, legions, and private clubs will be closed. Entertainments businesses and entities including libraries, science centres, interpretive centres, museums, galleries, amusement parks and water parks will be closed.

Hotels may remain open but must follow restrictions. No spas, pools or in-person dining. Room services only. Personal and wellness services, inlcuding hair salons, nail salons, massage, tattoos and piecing will be closed.

Health services, including physiotherapy or acupuncture, social or protective services, shelters for vulnerable persons, emergency services, childcare, and not-for-profit community kitchens or charitable kitchens will remain open for in-person attendance.

All places of worship will be limited to 15 percent of fire code occupancy for in-person attendance, with physical distancing and masking. Virtual and online services are strongly encouraged. Drive-in services where individuals do not leave their vehicles and adhere to guidance will be permissible and are not subjec