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Alberta and British Columbia are both extending COVID-19 restrictions after concluding that the recent decline in infections is not enough to turn the curve or allay fears that holiday gatherings will bring the infections back in could go up

Alberta, which had some of the highest infection, hospital and death rates in the country during its second wave, is extending measures that include closing restaurants and banning all gatherings for at least two more weeks through January 21

BC.The company, with lower infection rates and less stringent COVID-19 measures, will extend restrictions on social gatherings, events, and activities such as group fitness activities for at least one more month through February 5

During the second wave of the pandemic, the two provinces had significantly different experiences with the spread of the virus and the number of hospitalizations and deaths. The current infection rates in Alberta are more than twice as high as in B.C.which has some of the lowest rates outside of Atlantic Canada and Territories

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Infection rates fell in both provinces in late December, partly due to lower test levels, and there has been an upward trend in cases over the past week

Alberta resisted tougher action in the fall, despite COVID-19 infections skyrocketing, relying instead on voluntary action and an appeal to Albertans’ sense of “personal responsibility.” That changed a month ago When the province closed in-person dining in restaurants, gyms, and other stores and banned all gatherings, the province previously announced the cancellation of in-person classes for middle and high school students

Prime Minister Jason Kenney announced Thursday that while face-to-face tuition will resume next week as planned, remaining activities will be extended beyond the original four-week period

The Provincial Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr Deena Hinshaw said that while current infection rates are below a peak in December, they are still high and could put the health system at risk

“I know these have been four challenging weeks, but we can’t loosen our grip. We have to stay on course,” she said

“The progress we make over the coming weeks will help determine what the coming months are like in our province”

In BC.Current restrictions restrict socialization to immediate households only and prohibit all community-level social gatherings and events, such as weddings and funerals, places of worship, group physical activities, and most sports.People are also advised, but not ordered, non-essential outside travel to avoid their communities

The Provincial Health Officer, Dr Bonnie Henry said the recent surge in the number of infections meant the province could not pull back

“We are closely monitoring our progress and if further action is needed we will,” said Dr Said Henry

“If we see positive trends in our cases and in our hospital stays and see a reduction in our impact, we will monitor this too. For now, we must hold the line”

The COVID-19 measures were first announced for the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health regions in November 7, and on Nov. throughout the province expanded 19

Alberta added 968 new infections Thursday, giving the province an average daily infection rate for the past week of about 23 infections per 100.00, ranking second only after Quebec

Alberta also has the highest hospitalization rates and the second highest death rate in the country after Quebec. There were 871 people in the hospital, 139 of them in intensive care, and Dr Hinshaw reported 24 more deaths

BC. reported 761 new COVID-19 infections on Thursday The province has an average daily infection rate of about 11 infections per 100000

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Alberta COVID Update, Alberta Covid Restrictions, Jason Kenney, Alberta Restrictions, Alberta Covid Update

World News – CA – Alberta, BC. Expand pandemic restrictions as COVID-19 cases increase

Source: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/alberta/article-alberta-bc-extend-pandemic-restrictions-as-cases-rise/