Alberta premier Jason Kenney imposed stricter measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. (Photo by the Government of Alberta)

Alberta premier Jason Kenney imposed stricter measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. (Photo by the Government of Alberta)

Kenney enacts stricter COVID-19 measures

New measures start Saturday at midnight

With COVID-19 cases numbers still rising at an alarming rate in Alberta, the province leveled stricter measures to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

In the wake of an additional 1,727 cases Tuesday, a COVID-19 test positivity rate above 9 per cent and more than 20,388 active cases across the province – Premier Jason Kenney announced new restrictions.

“We are now at a place where viral transmission is so widespread in the community, that it does not any longer matter how careful business operators are,” Kenney said.

“We are at a place where we must take these dramatic measures to reduce general, social interaction. It’s the only way we can get on top of this.”

The premier also advised with the rate of transmission and rising case numbers, Albertans should consider keeping Christmas gatherings to just their household.

tweet

Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Monday that the measures put in place on Nov. 24 had not done enough to bend the curb and the new measures will be in place for four weeks, until after the holidays.

The original measures were supposed to be in place until Dec. 18.

A province-wide mask mandate and no social outdoor gatherings will go into effect immediately, with the majority of other measures being dropped Saturday at midnight and will be in place until at least Jan 9, 2021.

“This gives businesses time to prepare for an orderly adoption of these public health orders. These measures will be in effect for at least for weeks and they will apply province-wide,” Kenney said.

“It has always been our preference to have a regionally targeted approach. But we have concluded regrettably that is not a viable option right now.”

The province will make it mandatory for workers to work from home unless an employer determines work requires physical presence for operational effectiveness.

Retail services are reduced to 15 per cent capacity.

The new measures starting on Dec. 13, include closing in-person dining at restaurants and bars, as well as closing lounges, casinos and bingo halls.

Indoor recreation facilities, fitness centres, pools, spas, gyms, studios and indoor rinks will be also be closed on Dec. 13. Outdoor skating rinks and ski hills are allowed to stay open.

Personal wellness services, including hair salons, nail salons, massage, tattoos, and piercing, will also be closed.

While students in grades 7-12 have already been shifted to online learning, elementary schools will remain open.

Alberta now has 654 people in hospital due to COVID-19 and 112 in the ICU. The province has completed more than 19,000 COVID-19 tests in the past 24 hours. The province reported nine more deaths due to the virus and 640 people have died since the beginning of the pandemic.

The Central zone sits at 1,526 active cases of COVID-19 with 50 people in hospital and six in the ICU. Twenty people in the region have died from the virus so far.

Red Deer now has 373 active cases of the virus. Red Deer County sits at 97 active and Sylvan Lake has 66 cases. Mountain View County has 28 active and Kneehill County has 14. Lacombe County has 71 active Lacombe has 46. Camrose has 99 active cases and Camrose County has 34.

Ponoka County, Wetaskiwin County and the City of Wetaskiwin have 296 combined cases.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19.  (File photo)
750 new COVID-19 cases identified in Alberta Sunday

Central zone currently has 1,182 active cases of the virus

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine deliveres to Canada are being delayed because of complications at their European distribution facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Delays of Pfizer vaccine delivery to impact Alberta’s vaccination plans

Alberta has administered 74,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine so far

(Red Deer Advocate file photo)
Sentencing delayed in the stabbing death of Samantha Sharpe, of Sunchild First Nation. (Red Deer Advocate file photo)
A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

(Via the Canadian Press)
Alberta monolith comes with message to save eastern slopes of Rocky Mountains

‘They deserve our attention. They warrant our protection. They are under threat’

blessing
Bentley Blessing Pantry continues to faithfully serve the community

‘We just wanted to make everyone aware that we are still here to serve you throughout this coming year.’

A Suncor logo is shown at the company’s annual meeting in Calgary on May 2, 2019. A worker is missing after a dozer broke through ice on an inactive Suncor tailings pond in northern Alberta.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Worker missing after dozer breaks through frozen tailings pond in northern Alberta

The worker was an employee of Christina River Construction

File Photo
‘You took away some real joy,’ Sylvan Lake Winter Village turned off after vandalism

Sometime during the night of Jan, 12 the light display at the pier was vandalized and damaged

Most Read