EDMONTON -- Premier Jason Kenney declared a state of public health emergency on Tuesday as the second wave of COVID-19 continues to grow in Alberta.

Once it is declared, the government has the following powers activated:

  •  to acquire or use any real or personal property;
  •  to authorize or require any qualified person to render aid of a type the person is qualified to provide;
  •  to authorize the conscription of persons needed to meet an emergency;
  •  to authorize the entry into any building or on any land, without warrant, by any person
  •  to provide for the distribution of essential health and medical supplies and provide, maintain and co-ordinate the delivery of health services.

The public health emergency also means that the province's chief medical health officer can impose or authorize the absence of any ill employees, or those who are caring for a family member ill with COVID-19.

Under the act, employers cannot fire, restrict or otherwise discriminate against employees who must miss work due to the coronavirus.

It also enables compensation for anyone whose personal property is damaged or destroyed due to the exercise of any government powers.

Kenney also announced restrictions connected to indoor gatherings, businesses, schools and places of worship.

Alberta first imposed a state of public health emergency on March 15 and let it expire three months later.