Province Introduces New Mandatory Health Measures
Premier Jason Kenney declared a state of public health emergency on November 24 and told Albertans they would now be facing tighter health restrictions to protect the health system and slow the spread of COVID-19.
“We are taking strong, targeted new measures to protect both lives and livelihoods and bend the COVID-19 curve back down. Today we have declared a state of public health emergency, taking firm action to protect Albertans’ health and our health-care system. Without these measures, we will soon have to cancel thousands of surgeries and other health services. Albertans must act together to protect the vulnerable,” stated Kenney.
New public health measures are now being implemented across Alberta. These include mandatory province-wide measures and those targeted at regions under enhanced status. Effective Nov. 27, new restrictions will limit the amount of contact between people in the community, while still allowing businesses to offer services.
One of the new restrictions makes face masks mandatory in the cities of Edmonton and Calgary as well as those communities which have an “enhanced status” rating which means risk levels require enhanced public health measures to control the spread of COVID-19. Of the municipalities in our region only Smoky Lake County has been given “enhanced status” to date. According to municipality, it currently has 199 cases, 67 active cases, 13 recovered cases and 0 deaths of COVID-19 in its jurisdiction.
“Effective immediately, mandatory restrictions on social gatherings are in effect province-wide. These measures will be in place until further notice and include:
- No indoor social gatherings are permitted in any setting, including workplaces.
- Outdoor social gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10 people.
- Funeral services and wedding ceremonies must follow all public health guidance and are limited to a maximum of 10 in-person attendees. Receptions are not permitted.
In all schools, Grades 7-12 will move to at-home learning on Nov. 30, ending in-person classes early.
- Students in early childhood services and Grades K-6 will remain learning in-person until Dec. 18.
- All students will return to at-home learning after the winter break and resume in-person learning on Jan. 11, 2021.
- These measures are mandatory.
Diploma exams are optional for the rest of the school year. Students and their families can choose whether to write the exam or receive an exemption for the January, April, June, and August 2021 exam sessions.
Mandatory restrictions include places of worship, businesses and services are in effect in areas under enhanced status and will remain in place until further notice.
Places of worship
- Places of worship are limited to a maximum of one-third normal attendance per service.
- Physical distancing between households and masking are required.
- Faith-based leaders are encouraged to move services online.
- In-person faith group meetings can continue, but must maintain physical distancing and public health measures must be followed.
Starting Nov. 27, business and service restrictions fall under three categories: closed for in-person business, open with restrictions, and open by appointment only. These measures will remain in place for three weeks, but will be extended if needed.”
The Province also recommended Albertans limit in-person visits to retail locations, shop local, and use curbside pickup, delivery and online services, where possible. A full list of the new measures can be found on the Government of Alberta’s COVID-19 website.
The Province reported 13,349 active cases and 35,695 recovered cases on November 24. A total of 348 people were in hospital due to COVID-19, including 66 people in intensive case. The total number of COVID-19 deaths was 492.
In the region under the classification of local geographical area, Veg/Minburn County, 22 cases, 4 active cases, 18 recovered cases, 0 deaths. County of Two Hills, 24 cases, 1 active case, 22 recovered cases, 1 death. Lamont County 27 cases, 7 active cases, 20 recovered cases, 0 deaths. Beaver County East 75 cases, 1 active case, 74 recovered cases, 0 deaths. Beaver County West 32 cases, 7 active cases, 25 recovered cases, 0 deaths