Alberta announces new COVID-19 restrictions

Mandatory masks across the province, the banning of all social gatherings, and closures of restaurants and pubs are among a long list of provincial restrictions announced Tuesday, Dec. 8.

Premier Jason Kenney was joined by Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Jobs, Economy and Innovation Minister Doug Schweitzer Tuesday afternoon.

“These mandatory measures will help us slow the spread of COVID-19,” Hinshaw said in a media release Tuesday. “This will require individual sacrifices that are necessary to protect our province. It’s not just about one person, it’s about doing what we can to protect and save our loved ones, colleagues, neighbours, and even strangers. Following these public health measures is how we as Albertans care for and protect each other.”

The new measures, which will be in place for at least four weeks are below:

Social gatherings – immediate

  • All indoor and outdoor social gatherings – public and private – are prohibited.
  • Close contacts are limited to household members only.
    • Individuals who live alone will be allowed up to two close contacts for in-person visiting, with those two people remaining the same for the duration of the restriction period.
  • Festivals, parades, events, concerts, exhibitions, competitions, sport and performance remain prohibited.

Masking – immediate

  • The mandatory indoor public masking requirement will be extended province-wide.
    • Public spaces include locations where a business or entity operates and is applicable to employees, visitors and the general public.
    • Applies to all indoor workplaces and facilities outside the home.
    • Farm operations are excluded.
    • Rental accommodations used solely for the purposes of a private residence are excluded.

Places of worship – starting at 12:01 a.m., Dec. 13

  • All places of worship will be limited to 15 per cent of fire code occupancy for in-person attendance.
    • Virtual or 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 subject to capacity restrictions.
    • Mandatory mask mandate, physical distancing and other guidelines remain in place.

Retail – starting at 12:01 a.m., Dec. 13

  • Retail services must reduce customer capacity to 15 per cent of fire code occupancy, with a minimum of five customers permitted.
    • Curbside pickup, delivery and online services are encouraged.
  • Shopping malls will be limited to 15 per cent of fire code occupancy.

Closures – starting at 12:01 a.m., Dec. 13

  • Restaurants, pubs, bars, lounges and cafes will be closed to in-person service.
    • Only takeout, curbside pickup 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.
  • Recreational facilities – fitness centres, recreation centres, pools, spas, gyms, studios, day and overnight camps, indoor rinks and arenas – will be closed.
  • Outdoor recreation is permitted, but facilities with indoor spaces except for washrooms will be closed.
  • Entertainment businesses and entities – 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, including hair salons, nail salons, massage, tattoos, and piercing, will be closed.

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

Work from home – starting at 12:01 a.m., Dec. 13

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

Closures – ongoing from Nov. 27

  • Entertainment businesses and entities – community halls and centres, indoor children’s play centres and indoor playgrounds, theatres, auditoriums, concert halls, and community theatres, nightclubs, banquet halls and conference centres, indoor and outdoor festivals, concerts with the exception of drive-in events, tradeshows, and sporting events or competitions, remain closed.

As of Tuesday afternoon’s report, Morinville has seven new cases, no recoveries for a total of 57 active cases. Sturgeon County has seven new cases, eight more recoveries for a total of 110 active cases.

Provincially, 1,727 more confirmed cases in 19,109 tests. The positive test rate is 9%. There are 654 in hospital and 112 in ICU.

For complete details including lab testing data and comorbidities, visit https://www.alberta.ca/stats/covid-19-alberta-statistics.htm

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