Premier Jason Kenney said that Alberta students who have chosen to study in person will return to class next week as originally planned. All other existing COVID-19 public health measures will remain until exist at least January 21, added the Prime Minister

Kenney said Albertans and corporations will be given at least a week notice before any changes are made that affect them “So you have a schedule”

“To make sure we take into account the very real possibility of an increase in cases as a result of the holidays, and given that our case numbers, hospital stays and the rate of positivity for tests remain high, health efforts in Alberta will be high for at least.” two weeks in place, “said Kenney on Thursday afternoon

“This means that all Albertans, companies, organizations and service providers must continue to follow the existing health measures until at least January 21”

“We still haven’t seen the effects of recent holidays and will be closely monitoring the spread over the coming weeks to see if it is safe to recommend relaxing our current approach,” said Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr Deena Hinshaw added

“I know this has been a challenge for the past four weeks, but we can’t loosen our grip. We have to stay on course”

Restrictions currently in place in mid-December include a ban on personal eating and restricting grocery and retail stores to 15 percent of their fire capacity 13, also forced the closure of personal services such as gyms and hair salons

Further measures prohibiting both indoor and outdoor gatherings and mandate masks across the province were implemented on December 8

“I know it’s especially frustrating to hear all of this now, after you’ve seen news about politicians and civic agents traveling overseas,” Kenney said

“I know the Albertans are angry because of the terrible judgment that many government officials have shown And they are right to be angry I heard the Albertans loud and clear After all the terrible sacrifices people have made for 10 months It was an insult to government leaders to take vacations outside of the country. The Albertans said they wanted there to be consequences. I heard them and there were serious consequences ”

The announcement regarding schools and restrictions came as Alberta reported 968 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, as well as 24 more deaths from the disease. The Alberta death toll from COVID-19 has 1217 reached (additional daily COVID-19 data below)

Kenney initially hinted that Alberta is currently unable to relax current restrictions during a Facebook Live address on Wednesday, citing high incidence and hospital admissions every day

“I’ve made it clear in the past that we need to weigh the public health need of COVID against all other effects of restrictions, and this will influence our future decisions,” Kenney said on Wednesday evening,

Kenney used a graph to show the increase in COVID-19 hospital stays since October, which has grown exponentially, pointing out that around 100 people with COVID-19 were hospitalized by mid-October, which rose “Almost a month later, almost to 650,” said Kenney,

As of Thursday there were 871 Albertans with COVID-19 in the hospital, of which 139 were being treated in the intensive care unit

“We can do this thanks to the great professionalism of our healthcare people,” said Kenney

“But we can’t do it, we couldn’t handle the continued exponential growth, because as soon as we get around 2000 or more COVID patients in hospitals, we have to cancel all operations that are not strictly necessary to massively damage the health of other people Unfortunately, such tough measures had to be taken and we said that the December measures that were in Came into force, in my opinion on December 14th, we would rate this one month later and I’ll say more about it tomorrow ”

Continue reading:
Kenney supports safe travel during the COVID-19 pandemic despite his government’s website recommendation

Kenney added that he hopes to revert to a regionalized approach to COVID-19 restrictions “once the numbers are in the right space”

“But at the moment we are still leading the country in new per capita cases, active cases, and I believe deaths, even daily deaths. Overall not we are still lower than the national average since March, but daily we are ahead of other provinces ”

Dr Colin Furness, an infection control epidemiologist, told Global News it was not time to lift restrictions Alberta has managed to slow down the daily count, but that is not enough

“You jumped from an airplane. You opened your parachute, the parachute slowed your fall. Now you have to decide whether you want to take the parachute off or not,” he said

“If you are halfway to the ground and take the parachute off, I think the outcome will be pretty predictable. Most people would say you should leave the parachute on until you hit the ground”

Dr Stephanie Smith, an infectious disease doctor at the University of Alberta Hospital, said she would prefer the current restrictions to remain in place for at least four weeks

“Then we would be beyond Christmas and New Years and I think we have a much better idea of ​​trends and numbers,” she said, adding that there was a slump over the holidays that might not affect as many people was due to be tested

“At this point our numbers have not yet increased, but I would like to see this trend continue, or at least decline slightly, before the government decides to relax restrictions””

Kenney said the decision to stick to Alberta’s original back to school plan, announced in December, was based on a careful review of the importance of in-person school attendance, as well as the latest evidence for cases that fall in all school-related cases Age groups in December ”

“Schools naturally play a key role in supporting student learning, as well as their emotional health, mental health and general well-being,” said Kenney

Kenney said that between September and Winter Break, 04 percent of all students and school staff in Alberta tested positive for COVID-19

Hinshaw added that school transmission is not the main driver of cases in the school population Analysis of all COVID-19 cases in school-age children found that approximately six percent of all cases were acquired in school, added they added

“This is further supported by the observation in December that, while elementary school children stayed in school personally, their previously increased age-specific fall rates decreased after extracurricular activities in the same way as older pupils and social gatherings were limited”, said Hinshaw

“We are prioritizing return on school next week while maintaining these other constraints as these other activities appear to have been a much more important driver of the diffusion”

Kenney said the province will continue to make changes as needed to ensure a safe learning environment is in place during the pandemic, ”

Dr James Kellner, a pediatric infectious disease doctor at Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary, said he believes the return to personal learning in Alberta should be delayed as daily case rates remain high and the number of serious consequences is high

“There are many reasons to worry, and I am certainly concerned about the idea of ​​kids getting back to the classroom as early as next week,” he said

“It’s a little flattened here in Alberta, but at a very high level – far higher than it was in the fall when the schools first opened”

Kellner, a parent himself, admitted it was a difficult situation. He added that he understood the challenges of graduation, including children’s social development and mental health

“On that note … I am concerned that if we open schools too early which could lead to, instead of reaching a plateau and gradually sinking – it could lead to annoyance of a lengthy second wave, who we are in ”

The 968 new cases came after about 14833 tests, giving a 6.4 percent positivity rate

Kenney said the number of active cases has fallen “quite sharply” since the last restrictions were announced in December, but said “we are far from getting out of here””

“COVID-19 is widespread in Alberta, with a few local exceptions,” he said. “The test numbers fell during the holidays, which was to be expected, but we saw a persistently high rate of positivity

Kenney noted that a “bad day” would see a two percent positivity rate between May and September. Last week, Alberta saw a seven percent positivity rate, he said

Of the 24 deaths reported Thursday, 14 were in the Edmonton Zone, nine in the Calgary Zone, and one in the Central Zone

In the Edmonton Zone, two deaths were associated with the outbreak at the Chinese Seniors Lodge – both men in their nineties with comorbidities. Two deaths were associated with the outbreak at the Kiwanis Place Lodge – one man in his 70s and one woman in Both deaths included comorbidities A woman in her seventies linked to the Capital Care Lynnwood outbreak died This case included comorbidities A man died in his 90s from Touchmark Wedgewood Assisted Living His case involved comorbidities A man in his nineties Associated with the Gray Nuns Community Hospital outbreak also died.This case included comorbidities One man in his fifties, one man in his sixties, and four men in his seventies also died.All of these deaths also included comorbidities with one man in his sixties from the Edmonton Zone also passed away, and Alberta Health said Ko morbidities are not known

In the Calgary Zone, three deaths were linked to the Revera Edgemont outbreak: a man in his seventies, a woman in his eighties, and a woman in her nineties All three deaths included comorbidities Two deaths were associated with the Bethany Riverview outbreak Related: a man in his 90s and a man in his 70s Both cases included comorbidities A man in his 90s linked to the AgeCare Walden Heights outbreak died His death was associated with comorbidities A man in his 90s from Carewest Sarcee also passed away His death involved comorbidities Two women in their 70s from the Calgary zone died One woman’s death involved comorbidities and the comorbidities are unknown in the death of the other woman

The Prime Minister said he would have another media availability on Friday, this time to talk about COVID-19 vaccinations in Alberta

As of Jan 6, 33864 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered in Alberta Two “Post-Immunization Adverse Events” were reported to Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services. Details of these adverse events were not provided

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

World News – CA – Alberta COVID-19 Restrictions Remain Through Jan 21 while students return to class on Monday