Alberta’s timeline for moving to third stage of relaunch depends on success of schools reopening, Hinshaw says

Alberta

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“I’m truly sorry for parents who didn’t understand that that was our direction,” she said Thursday. “That was not our intention, to pull something out that is different at the 11th hour, and I regret that this took us so long to be able to get that order in place, but unfortunately, the timing was such that, as we moved through the policy decisions and discussions about the appropriate instruments to use, it just took longer than we had hoped to get that document finalized.”

Hinshaw has also faced questions because protocols on physical distancing are more strict in public places and businesses than in schools.

While several recent outbreaks of COVID-19 have been linked to social gatherings, Hinshaw said “most of the outbreaks have actually been somewhat smaller gatherings, they just haven’t been following the direction, whereas in schools, there is someone in charge of the classroom who is able to monitor and manage and ensure that all of those specific measures are in place.”

Last week, Hinshaw told a legislative committee that her role is to offer advice to the health minister, not to make policy decisions.

When asked if she thought she was losing public confidence over not requiring physical distancing in classrooms, Hinshaw said that is out of her control.

“I can’t control how other people react. What I can do is continually offer my efforts to build bridges, and if there is a lost trust to do my best to regain that. My commitment has always been that I’ll provide Albertans with the best information possible and do that in a transparent way, and I continue to commit to that,” Hinshaw said.

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