Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw updates media on the Covid-19 situation in Edmonton on Friday March 20, 2020. nbsp;Alberta is reporting it’s highest daily number of COVID-19 cases, with 364 new infections. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Voluntary restrictions in Edmonton area as COVID-19 case numbers keep climbing

Edmonton’s Misericordia Community Hospital announced its second outbreak Thursday

Alberta’s top doctor asked people in the Edmonton area Thursday to voluntarily abide by new health measures, as the province’s COVID-19 cases climbed to its highest daily number with the majority in the capital region.

Chief medical health officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported 364 new infections in Alberta, with 276 of those in the Edmonton zone.

The province previously reported a high of 336 cases on April 23. Case numbers had steadily declined but began rising recently, as they have is many areas across the country.

Hinshaw said there are currently 1,251 active cases in Edmonton — double that in Calgary.

Edmonton’s Misericordia Community Hospital announced its second outbreak Thursday, with 10 cases among patients and staff. It said 29 health-care workers are self-isolating as a result.

Hinshaw said there have been several other outbreaks linked to workplaces and social gatherings in the city.

“The Edmonton zone now faces a crucial juncture.,” Hinshaw told a news conference.

“It typically takes one to two weeks before a rise in cases contributes to a rise in hospitalizations.

“We must take action to slow the virus’s spread in the zone and make sure the health system can continue supporting Albertans.”

She announced three voluntarily public health measures for Edmonton-area residents.

She wants people to limit family gatherings and social events, including weddings and funerals, to 15 people.

She said they should wear masks indoors at work, unless they are alone in cubicles or offices or separated from others with barriers

And she wants them to limit their interactions to three cohorts: home, school and a social or sporting group.

Hinshaw emphasized that the restrictions are voluntary and a good idea for everyone in Alberta.

“I believe people will do their part to protect themselves and their family, friends and neighbours.”

Last month, when Alberta was reporting new daily cases of about 100 and more, Premier Jason Kenney said he had no plan to follow moves by other provinces in closing or constraining businesses again.

Mandatory restrictions put in place at the beginning of the pandemic in Canada in the spring were gradually eased in Alberta in June.

Hinshaw said the voluntary measures give Edmontonians an “opportunity” to bend the curve.

She suggested people start with changing any big Thanksgiving plans. The upcoming long weekend is not the time to gather in large groups, travel long distances or share food, she said.

“Keep your Thanksgiving small. Keep it safe.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

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

Just Posted

2020 Ponoka business awards
Ponoka chamber 2020 Business Award winners

The Ponoka and District Chamber of Commerce 2020 Business Awards were held… Continue reading

Ryen Williams, 11, with a lost miniature horse at JJ Collett Oct. 23. Photo by Don Williams
UPDATE: Owner found

Father and son found miniature horse while out for a walk at JJ Collett

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19. (File photo)
432 new COVID cases sets another record Friday

Central zone holds steady at 126 active cases

(Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
Ponoka FCSS’ Empty Bowls sells out

For the first time ever, Ponoka Family and Community Support Services’ (FCSS’s)… Continue reading

"We are looking seriously at the spread and determining what our next steps should be," says Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, as the daily number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb.
427 new COVID cases is highest in Alberta ever

Central zone has 126 active cases of COVID-19

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
VIDEO: One day until B.C. voters go to the polls in snap election defined by pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan’s decision to call an election comes more than a year ahead of schedule and during a pandemic

This photo provided by Air Force Reserve shows a sky view of Hurricane Epsilon taken by Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter team over the Atlantic Ocean taken Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020.   Epsilon’s maximum sustained winds have dropped slightly as it prepares to sideswipe Bermuda on a path over the Atlantic Ocean.  The National Hurricane Center says it should come close enough Thursday, Oct. 22, evening to merit a tropical storm warning for the island.  (Air Force Reserve via AP)
Hurricane Epsilon expected to remain offshore but will push waves at Atlantic Canada

Epsilon is not expected to have any real impact on land

A voter places her absentee ballot in the ballot box, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, at Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Robert F. Bukaty
American voters living in Canada increasingly being counted in presidential race

The largest number of Canadian-based American voters cast their ballots in New York and California

A composite image of three photographs shows BC NDP Leader John Horgan, left, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Sept. 25, 2020; BC Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau, centre, in Victoria on Sept. 24, 2020; and BC Liberal Party Leader Andrew Wilkinson Pitt Meadows, B.C., on Sept. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck, Chad Hipolito
British Columbia votes in snap election called during COVID-19 pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan called the snap election one year before the fixed voting date

Nunavut's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, on Tuesday June 30, 2020. The annual report from Nunavut's representative for children and youth says "complacency and a lack of accountability" in the territory's public service means basic information about young people needing services isn’t tracked. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Nunavut’s young people ‘should be expecting more’ from government services: advocate

‘The majority of information we requested is not tracked or was not provided by departments’

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

Conservative member of Parliament Michelle Rempel Garner, left to right, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole and Conservative Deputy Leader Candice Bergen arrive to hold a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No-confidence showdown over sweeping Tory motion on government handling of pandemic

The Conservative motion is to be put to a vote Monday and has the support of both the Bloc Québécois and NDP

Marissa Cunnington. (Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
NARCHC year end horse show photos and results

The Northern Alberta Reined Cow Horse Club (NARCHC) held its futurity, derby… Continue reading

Most Read