Alberta premier Jason Kenney imposed stricter measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. (Photo by the Government of Alberta)

Alberta premier Jason Kenney imposed stricter measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. (Photo by the Government of Alberta)

Kenney enacts stricter COVID-19 measures

New measures start Saturday at midnight

With COVID-19 cases numbers still rising at an alarming rate in Alberta, the province leveled stricter measures to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

In the wake of an additional 1,727 cases Tuesday, a COVID-19 test positivity rate above 9 per cent and more than 20,388 active cases across the province – Premier Jason Kenney announced new restrictions.

“We are now at a place where viral transmission is so widespread in the community, that it does not any longer matter how careful business operators are,” Kenney said.

“We are at a place where we must take these dramatic measures to reduce general, social interaction. It’s the only way we can get on top of this.”

The premier also advised with the rate of transmission and rising case numbers, Albertans should consider keeping Christmas gatherings to just their household.

tweet

Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Monday that the measures put in place on Nov. 24 had not done enough to bend the curb and the new measures will be in place for four weeks, until after the holidays.

The original measures were supposed to be in place until Dec. 18.

A province-wide mask mandate and no social outdoor gatherings will go into effect immediately, with the majority of other measures being dropped Saturday at midnight and will be in place until at least Jan 9, 2021.

“This gives businesses time to prepare for an orderly adoption of these public health orders. These measures will be in effect for at least for weeks and they will apply province-wide,” Kenney said.

“It has always been our preference to have a regionally targeted approach. But we have concluded regrettably that is not a viable option right now.”

The province will make it mandatory for workers to work from home unless an employer determines work requires physical presence for operational effectiveness.

Retail services are reduced to 15 per cent capacity.

The new measures starting on Dec. 13, include closing in-person dining at restaurants and bars, as well as closing lounges, casinos and bingo halls.

Indoor recreation facilities, fitness centres, pools, spas, gyms, studios and indoor rinks will be also be closed on Dec. 13. Outdoor skating rinks and ski hills are allowed to stay open.

Personal wellness services, including hair salons, nail salons, massage, tattoos, and piercing, will also be closed.

While students in grades 7-12 have already been shifted to online learning, elementary schools will remain open.

Alberta now has 654 people in hospital due to COVID-19 and 112 in the ICU. The province has completed more than 19,000 COVID-19 tests in the past 24 hours. The province reported nine more deaths due to the virus and 640 people have died since the beginning of the pandemic.

The Central zone sits at 1,526 active cases of COVID-19 with 50 people in hospital and six in the ICU. Twenty people in the region have died from the virus so far.

Red Deer now has 373 active cases of the virus. Red Deer County sits at 97 active and Sylvan Lake has 66 cases. Mountain View County has 28 active and Kneehill County has 14. Lacombe County has 71 active Lacombe has 46. Camrose has 99 active cases and Camrose County has 34.

Ponoka County, Wetaskiwin County and the City of Wetaskiwin have 296 combined cases.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Stettler resident Jaden Norman is pictured here outside of the Stettler Learning Centre where she lends a helping hand as a volunteer tutor. photo contributed
Stettler’s Jaden Norman has discovered the many joys of giving back

National Volunteer Week runs April 18th to 24th

There were six additional deaths across Alberta reported over the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 1,926 since the beginning of the pandemic. (File photo)
A commercial building, housing two businesses, in Stettler was completed destroyed by a fire Thursday. (Photo courtesy Stettler Regional Fire Department)
Fire destroys commercial building in Stettler

Giant plume of smoke attracts spectators

Stettler County
Highlights from County of Stettler council – April 14th

The County of Stettler has received a clean audit for the 16th year in a row

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
O’Toole to vote against Conservative MP’s private bill on ‘sex-selective abortion’

Erin O’Toole said he supports a woman’s right to choose and will personally vote against the private member’s bill

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

A vial of some of the first 500,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Canada’s 2nd blood clot confirmed in Alberta after AstraZeneca vaccine

The male patient, who is in his 60s, is said to be recovering

The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip laid to rest Saturday as sombre queen sits alone

The entire royal procession and funeral took place out of public view within the grounds of Windsor Castle

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Doses of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine in a freezer trailer, to be transported to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Pfizer to increase vaccine deliveries in Canada as Moderna supply slashed

Moderna plans to ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million

A empty classroom is pictured at Eric Hamber Secondary school in Vancouver, B.C. Monday, March 23, 2020. The Alberta government says schools in Calgary will move to at-home learning starting Monday for students in grades 7 to 12.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calgary schools to shift to at-home learning for grades 7 to 12 due to COVID-19

The change, due to COVID-19, is to last for two weeks

A man wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
COVID-19 spike in B.C. could overwhelm B.C. hospitals: modelling group

There are 397 people are in hospital due to the virus, surpassing a previous high of 374 seen in December

Most Read