Kenney unveils new COVID restrictions following weeks of pressure

Kenney unveils new COVID restrictions following weeks of pressure

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Not following mandatory restrictions could result in fines of up to $1,000 per offence and up to $100,000 through the courts, according to the province.

Kenney was joined by Health Minister Tyler Shandro, Alberta Health Services president and CEO Dr. Verna Yiu and Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw for the announcement.

Waitress Kata Supernault from Side Street Pub and Grill watches as Alberta Premier Jason Kenney places new restrictions to help fight the rise of COVID-19 in Calgary on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. Photo by Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia

Over the past month, Alberta has seen soaring COVID-19 infections, with record-setting hospitalizations and ICU admissions. On Tuesday, Alberta reported 16 more COVID-19 related deaths, bringing the province’s fatality toll to 492 since March.

On Oct. 23, there were 91 hospitalizations, with 13 COVID patients in ICU, according to provincial data. Hospitalizations had reached 348, while ICU admissions more than quadrupled to 66, as of Tuesday.

During that same period, active cases across the province jumped from 3,722 to 13,349 reported on Tuesday.

There were 4,903 active cases in AHS’ Calgary zone as of Monday.

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi previously said Calgary could enter a new state of local emergency, depending on the scope of new restrictions.

A weekend survey by Leger, commissioned for Postmedia, found 71 per cent of Albertans support the idea of a short-term lockdown, compared to 26 per cent who oppose the idea.

The poll asked more than 1,000 Albertans whether they were in favour of a two-week “circuit breaker,” in which all non-essential businesses would be closed to get spread of the COVID-19 virus under control.

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Around 93 per cent of Albertans who said they preferred a lockdown indicated they would still support the idea if it were to fall over the traditional holiday period from December to early January.

More than three-quarters of Albertans would support the idea of fining those who violate public health orders, according to the poll.

More to come…

— With files from Alanna Smith

[email protected]
Twitter: @SammyHudes

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