[updated] Alberta declares state of health emergency, introduces new measures to limit contact

by Morinville News Staff

The Government of Alberta declared a state of Public Health Emergency in the province with increased measures to assist in social distancing.

Premier Jason Kenney made a live statement on the new measures at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday.

A general update on COVID-19 in Alberta later Tuesday afternoon with Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer revealed that 23 additional cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Alberta, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 97. Cases have now been identified in all zones across the province.

Alberta’s Provincial Operations Centre has also been elevated from a level 3 to a level 4, the highest level.

“This is an unprecedented moment in our history and decisive action is needed,” said Premier Jason Kenney. “We recognize that these measures will have a profound impact on the lives of Albertans, but they are necessary in the face of this growing pandemic.”

Under the new measures, all gatherings over 50 people are to be cancelled, and Albertans are prohibited from visiting gyms, swimming pools, arenas, science centres, museums, art galleries, community centres, children’s play centres, casinos, racing entertainment centres, and bingo halls. Until further notice, all Albertans are restricted from attending bars and nightclubs, where minors are prohibited by law.

Restaurants and coffee shops are permitted to remain open; however, occupancy is limited to 50 patrons or 50% of occupancy, whichever is less.

Grocery stores, shopping centres, health-care facilities, airports, the legislature and other essential services are not included.

At this time, not-for-profit community kitchens, soup kitchens and religious kitchens are exempt, but sanitization practices are expected to be in place and support will be in place for this practice.

Municipalities, charitable and non-profit organizations providing social services support will immediately see $60 million to support their COVID-19 response. The funding will be provided to adult homeless shelters, women’s emergency shelters and the Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) program, which supports municipalities and civil society organizations in providing services to vulnerable Albertans.

Albertans are encouraged to visit alberta.ca/COVID19 for the latest information, guidance and resources.

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