RCMP and members of the Alberta Health Services were on scene at GraceLife Church west of Edmonton on Wednesday morning to “physically shut down” the facility as temporary fencing were installed around the building

Police were at Spruce Grove Church before 8 a.m. Crews could be seen putting up fences around the perimeter of the building, as well as blocking several parking spaces

“Alberta Health Services physically closed GraceLife Church and prevented access to the building until GLC could demonstrate ability to comply with Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) restrictions from Alberta, “AHS said in a statement Wednesday morning.

Under Alberta public health ordinances, face masks are mandatory and churches are limited to 15% of fire code capacity

During the Easter weekend, the parking lot at GraceLife Church was again crowded on Good Friday and Easter Sunday

AHS said on Wednesday that for “several months” health authorities had “attempted to work collaboratively with GLC to resolve lingering public health issues at the site”

“GLC has decided not to follow these mandatory restrictions, nor has it attempted to work with AHS to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19,” AHS said

RCMP and AHS inspectors have shown up on church property several times during services to ensure public health measures are being followed and in the preceding weeks officers said: “the church has not complied with the restrictions”

RCMP, AHS, security company, fence company, media, GraceLife supporters, people walking by… it’s all there imageTwittercom / 0MDleWqPGx

On March 28, an AHS spokesperson said environmental public health inspectors were denied entry into the church, while noting what “appeared to be violations of restrictions current CMOH (Chief Medical Officer of Health) related to ability, physical distance and masking”

Church and pastor James Coates are set to appear in court in May They are accused of violating public health law measures related to capacity limits, physical distancing and masking

Coates was released from jail on March 22 after breaking a bail condition to stop holding service that violated regulations He pleaded guilty and was fined $ 1,500

/ p>

AHS said that between July 10, 2020 and April 6, 2021, AHS received 105 public complaints about GraceLife Church AHS inspectors have carried out 18 inspections at the site since July 10 and “violations have been observed on every visit,” AHS said

In a press release sent Wednesday, the Justice Center, which represents Coates, said it was “filing a subpoena to demand that Alberta Chief Medical Officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw will testify at Pastor Coates’ trial on May 3, 2021 “

COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Alberta, and AHS says there is an urgent need to minimize the spread to protect all Albertans

The church closure comes a day after Premier Jason Kenney announced additional restrictions to help curb the third wave of COVID-19 in Alberta

GraceLife Church

World news – CA – Fence around GraceLife Church in west Edmonton as AHS “physically shuts down” facility

Source: https://globalnews.ca/news/7742895/edmonton-area-gracelife-church-closure-covid-19/