Students back to school on Monday


by Stephen Dafoe

Grade K to 12 students will return to in-person classes on Monday, Jan. 11 as planned; however, social gatherings and other mandatory health measures will be in place until at least Jan. 21 throughout Alberta.

The government says their decision to return to in-class learning is based on evidence that indicates new case rates in schools plateaued and then dropped in December, once the province implemented social gathering restrictions.

“I want to recognize the effort of school staff, teachers and parents to follow health measures and help us keep classrooms safe for Alberta students,” Premier Jason Kenney said in a media release Thursday. “I’m confident this effort will continue and we’ll see a successful return to in-person learning to the benefit of all students.”

While restriction on businesses and organizations are to see another nine day extension, the province says at least one week’s notice will be given on any changes that will affect businesses, organizations, and service providers.

“The health measures that were put in place in December have helped to reduce the number of active cases, but it’s not enough,” Kenney said. “Case numbers, hospitalizations and testing positivity rates remain high. We will be carefully evaluating the data over the coming weeks to determine what options we have to give Albertans back more flexibility in their lives, and give businesses a chance to reopen. But the worst thing we could do would be to increase the chances of another surge, which would threaten our health-care system again and require more restrictions. We must be careful and deliberate, and avoid the roller-coaster of uncertainty that a new surge would create.”

Localized numbers as of Jan 7 government update show that Morinville has two new cases, two recoveries, for a total of 45 active cases. Sturgeon County has two new cases, four more recoveries for a total of 42 active cases.

For complete details on provincial numbers including total active cases, recoveries, lab testing data and comorbidities, visit https://www.alberta.ca/stats/covid-19-alberta-statistics.htm.

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