EDMONTON – Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says widespread rule violation has forced his government to bring back tougher public health restrictions and that would result in cases of COVID-19 variant will overwhelm the health care system by next month

Kenney has acknowledged that decisions to close indoor restaurants, limit indoor fitness and reduce retail capacity will meet with resistance, even within his own United Conservative Party and of his caucus

“But the government cannot ignore the science We cannot ignore the medical advice and we cannot ignore the numbers,” he said on Tuesday

The Easter long weekend saw an average of around 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 per day in the province There were 931 new infections reported on Tuesday

About 43% of the 10,000 active cases in Alberta were the most contagious and potentially the most dangerous variants

Kenney said Alberta is on track to have 2,000 new infections a day and 1,000 people in hospital with COVID-19 by the end of April

“If everyone complied with the public health measures that were in place over the past few weeks, we would not experience the kind of huge exponential growth that we are currently experiencing”

Kenney has said he doesn’t want to be judgmental and understands people are tired more than a year after the start of the pandemic

But he’s heard of epidemics caused by people skipping tables in restaurants and bars and not sticking to their domestic cohort, as the rules dictate.

“If there is a significant level of non-compliance, the tools at our disposal are quite limited and we are using some of those tools here today”

Restaurants, bars, lounges and cafes must close indoor service from Friday at noon, but curbside pickup, take-out and patio dining are allowed

Retail stores currently have 25% customer capacity, but that capacity will drop to 15% starting Wednesday, and low-intensity group fitness activities will once again be banned

Kenney said that with the arrival of more vaccine doses, the province will step up vaccinations and expand eligible age groups The province also plans to set up “rapid transfer clinics” from this week

Earlier on Tuesday, the mayor of Edson, in western Alberta, complained about the lack of information provided by health officials on a variant outbreak affecting a major local employer

Kevin Zahara said he wanted to know how much of a risk there was to the community as a whole, but he has not heard from Alberta Health Services and the rumor is rife

PTW Energy Services has confirmed three positive cases of the P 1 variant first detected in Brazil at its offices in Edson and two other communities in western Alberta: Hinton and Drayton Valley Chief Medical Officer Dr Deena Hinshaw said that number is likely to increase

“At the end of the day, it’s not about the business or what necessarily happened,” Zahara said

“This is about what we can do to prevent the spread in our community and we have no information to make informed decisions”

Hinshaw said on Tuesday that the P 1 case linked to this outbreak represented a “tiny fraction” of the cases reported over the weekend and that any type of COVID-19 can cause serious illness

She said patient privacy must be weighed against the need for transparency.In the case of PTWs, anyone with close contact with infectious people has been notified, she said

“We do not routinely disclose specific locations except in cases of general public risk, which in this case we did not consider to be”

Opposition NDP health critic David Shepherd said renewing Kenney’s health restrictions was the right move, but once again came too late despite clear evidence of the imminent danger of variants

Shepherd said Kenney should have acted on the variants sooner and had ready-to-go financial support for businesses that need to shut down or scale down again

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World News – CA – Alberta crackdown on COVID variants threaten to overwhelm health care system

Source: https://ckpgtoday.ca/2021/04/06/alberta-clamps-down-as-covid-variants-threaten-to-swamp-health-system/