EDMONTON – COVID-19 Update – Alberta has enacted new measures designed to flatten the curve and reduce the surge of COVID-19 cases in the province.
- Over the last 24 hours, 1,727 new cases were identified.
- There are 654 people in hospital due to COVID-19, including 112 in intensive care.
- There are 20,388 active cases in the province.
- To date, 51,000 Albertans have recovered from COVID-19.
- There was an increase of 19,109 tests (2,410,675 total) for a total of 1,534,783 people tested.
- The testing positivity rate is 9.4 per cent.
- In the last 24 hours, there were nine additional COVID-related deaths reported: one on Nov. 30, one on Dec. 1, three on Dec. 5, and four on Dec. 7.
- The total number of COVID-19 related deaths is now 640.
- All zones across the province have cases:
- Calgary Zone: 7,529 active cases and 21,202 recovered
- South Zone: 646 active cases and 3,611 recovered
- Edmonton Zone: 9,383 active cases and 20,214 recovered
- North Zone: 1,212 active cases and 3,494 recovered
- Central Zone: 1,526 active cases and 2,335 recovered
- 92 active cases and 144 recovered cases in zones to be confirmed
Expanded health measures will be in effect provincewide. All Albertans, businesses, organizations and service providers must follow all new health measures. These restrictions will be in place for a minimum of four weeks.
Premier Jason Kenney says “Alberta has sought to protect both lives and livelihoods from the beginning of the pandemic. The recent surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations will threaten our health-care system and the lives of many vulnerable Albertans unless further action is taken now. With the promise of a vaccine early in 2021, we can see the end of this terrible time. But all Albertans must take this more seriously than ever by staying home whenever possible, and following these new measures.”
Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health states, “Alberta’s case numbers and hospitalizations have reached a point where we must take stricter measures in order to protect capacity in our health system. These mandatory new health measures are some of the strictest we’ve implemented, but they are absolutely critical to the future of our province.”
“These mandatory measures will help us slow the spread of COVID-19. This will require individual sacrifices that are necessary to protect our province. It’s not just about one person, it’s about doing what we can to protect and save our loved ones, colleagues, neighbours, and even strangers. Following these public health measures is how we as Albertans care for and protect each other,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Chief Medical Officer of Health comments.
New expanded mandatory measures come into effect December 8, 2020 for social gatherings and mandatory masking. All others come into effect at 12:01 a.m., Dececember 13, 2020.
Social gatherings – immediate
- All indoor and outdoor social gatherings – public and private – are prohibited.
- Close contacts are limited to household members only.
- Individuals who live alone will be allowed up to two close contacts for in-person visiting, with those two people remaining the same for the duration of the restriction period.
- Festivals, parades, events, concerts, exhibitions, competitions, sport and performance remain prohibited.
As these new measure are in effect for 28 days, Alberta now joins Manitoba and Quebec in enacting measures that seriously restrict holiday celebrations.
Masking – immediate
- The mandatory indoor public masking requirement will be extended provincewide.
- Public spaces include locations where a business or entity operates and is applicable to employees, visitors and the general public.
- Applies to all indoor workplaces and facilities outside the home.
- Farm operations are excluded.
- Rental accommodations used solely for the purposes of a private residence are excluded.
Places of worship – starting at 12:01 a.m., December 13 2020
- All places of worship will be limited to 15 per cent of fire code occupancy for in-person attendance.
- Virtual or online services are strongly encouraged.
- Drive-in services where individuals do not leave their vehicles and adhere to guidance will be permissible and are not subject to capacity restrictions.
- Mandatory mask mandate, physical distancing and other guidelines remain in place.
Retail – starting at 12:01 a.m., December 13, 2020
- Retail services must reduce customer capacity to 15 per cent of fire code occupancy, with a minimum of five customers permitted.
- Curbside pickup, delivery and online services are encouraged.
- Shopping malls will be limited to 15 per cent of fire code occupancy.
Closures – starting at 12:01 a.m., December 13, 2020
- Restaurants, pubs, bars, lounges and cafes will be closed to in-person service.
- Only takeout, curbside pickup and delivery services are permitted.
- Casinos, bingo halls, gaming entertainment centres, racing entertainment centres, horse tracks, raceways, bowling alleys, pool halls, legions, and private clubs will be closed.
- Recreational facilities – fitness centres, recreation centres, pools, spas, gyms, studios, day and overnight camps, indoor rinks and arenas – will be closed.
- Outdoor recreation is permitted, but facilities with indoor spaces except for washrooms will be closed.
- Entertainment businesses and entities – libraries, science centres, interpretive centres, museums, galleries, amusement parks and water parks – will be closed.
- Hotels may remain open but must follow restrictions – no spas, pools or in-person dining. Room services only.
- Personal and wellness services, including hair salons, nail salons, massage, tattoos, and piercing, will be closed.
Health services, including physiotherapy or acupuncture, social or protective services, shelters for vulnerable persons, emergency services, child care, and not-for-profit community kitchens or charitable kitchens will remain open for in-person attendance.
Work from home – starting at 12:01 a.m., December 13, 2020
- Mandatory work from home measures will be implemented unless the employer determines that work requires a physical presence for operational effectiveness.
Closures – ongoing from November 27, 2020
- Entertainment businesses and entities – community halls and centres, indoor children’s play centres and indoor playgrounds, theatres, auditoriums, concert halls, and community theatres, nightclubs, banquet halls and conference centres, indoor and outdoor festivals, concerts with the exception of drive-in events, tradeshows, and sporting events or competitions, remain closed.