Health officials call for tougher COVID-19 restrictions in Alberta
EDMONTON -- As COVID-19 cases grow in Alberta, doctors say tougher measures are needed to curb the spread.
On Friday, Kenney pleaded for an end to house parties and limiting social gatherings to 15 people.
“Our collective action is crucial to limiting the spread of the virus and keeping our schools and economy safe and open,” he said at a press conference.
But at least one doctor said that’s not enough.
“Blatant denial. We only have to look at Ontario to see our future in two weeks,” said ICU physician Dr. Darren Marklund.
Markland is one of many doctors calling for a temporary shutdown of schools and non-essential businesses.
“What we really need to do is throttle back, and I’m saying lock down like we did beforehand but two weeks of restrictive lockdown could be enough to get the numbers back under control,” he said.
A similar message from the co-founder of Masks 4 Canada earlier this week, who says voluntary measures won’t work.
“We need to close down, temporarily, restaurants for inside eating, we need to close down casinos, gymnasiums,” said Dr. Joe Vipond, cofounder of Masks 4 Canada.
Markland said if cases continue to climb, other services could be put at risk.
“The 20-year-old who gets in a car accident may not be able to get in ICU because it is already full of COVID patients. They may not be able to get their legs fixed when they break them. Their parents may not be able to get the angiograms that they require.”
While local ICUs are not at capacity yet, he says it could change quickly.
“These changes that happen upstream hit the ICU two to three weeks later.”
“When we’re at 80 per cent we’re in trouble when it’s an infectious pandemic. If your ICU is full, it’s too late because now you have more people to come in and you have no place to put them when you’re done with them.”
He understands people are tired of the virus, but says with vaccines in the works and the public's help, there is an end in sight.
“We can prevent spread if we go back to our concerns for each other again.”
An additional 700 cases of COVID-19 were reported in Alberta on Sunday, and 919 were reported on Saturday.
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Amanda Anderson