New Alta. COVID-19 restrictions coming Tuesday: government
EDMONTON -- The provincial government is making decisions about further restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19, CTV News Edmonton has learned.
Christine Myatt from the Premier's Office confirmed Monday morning that the Priorities Implementation Committee was meeting that afternoon to hear recommendations from the chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw.
In a pandemic update that day, during which she announced the province had counted 1,549 new cases in the last 24 hours, Hinshaw did not specify what she'd be advising to officials.
"There are a variety of options for consideration and the decision making, of course, as I mentioned, isnot easy," she commented.
"It will be up to elected officials to make a determination about what policy options they will choose. And my role, again, is simply to provide recommendations."
According to Myatt, an announcement about Alberta's new COVID-19 strategy will be made on Tuesday.
NDP CALLS FOR IMMEDIATE DETAILS
The premier hasn't spoken in person at a public engagement in nearly two weeks, after entering isolation following an exposure to a positive case.
The lack of comment from the premier was criticized by the Official Opposition, who called an emergency debate in the legislature on Monday on the provincial government's COVID-19 response.
Party leader Rachel Notely spoke for a more than an hour-and-a-half.
Her MLA and NDP Health Critic David Shepherd demanded the premier update Albertans on Monday after the cabinet committee meeting.
“If Jason Kenney is finally taking action, he should walk straight out of that meeting today and tell Albertans the truth,” Shepherd said in an NDP release.
"Families and businesses deserve every hour they can get to prepare. It’s totally unacceptable for Jason Kenney to go home tonight without telling Albertans what his plans are."
GROUP CALLS FOR MANDATORY MASKS PROVINCE WIDE
A group of doctors which has long advocated for wider-spread use of masks hopes a province-wide mandatory face-covering rule is among the actions taken by the Alberta government on Tuesday.
"We need strict mandatory restrictions to have any impact given the situation that Alberta is in right now," organizer Dr. Amy Tan said.
"The second thing is, there must be a close-down of non-essential businesses. The province needs to support these businesses."
Both she and another physician, Dr. Tehseen Ladha, said, however, schools should remain open.
"School is so essential for social development, for intellectual development, and then for parents to remain in the workforce," Ladha commented.
According to Alberta Health, there were active alerts or outbreaks in 304 schools, or 13 per cent of schools, in the province as of Monday. Hinshaw said in-school transmission has only occurred 182 times, resulting in just one new cases in 99 situations.