With Alberta’s new COVID-19 cases significantly outnumbered the rest of the country, Prime Minister Jason Kenny says he expects to announce new public health restrictions on Tuesday in an effort to bend the curve.
“Take this seriously,” Kenny pleaded with Alberton on Monday, suggesting that the health care system could soon see its potential if the province’s rise in corona virus cases does not begin to flatten or fall.
The Prime Minister said discussions on new public health measures were ongoing but did not say what they might involve.
At his news conference on Monday, Kenny said the situation in the province was deteriorating because many Alberts were not following the public health measures already in place.
He reiterated that his government was continuing to adopt an approach to tackling the epidemic of balancing COVID-19 concerns with mental health and the ability of people to earn.
“I think we’ve done it well in general,” he said. “Our middle ground approach is successful.”
Will high COVID-19 health restrictions in Alberta really reduce numbers?
Although Kenny said his government may have imposed tougher, longer locks or taken a lysine fire approach that would result in a higher death toll as in some parts of the United States, he is pleased with the approach his government has taken in response to its epidemic.
He said he would take issue with those who play “revenge play”.
Kenny noted that he believes his government is very active throughout the epidemic by increasing the capacity of the health care system, contact-tracking system, testing and PPE.
Regarding trends in Alberta, Kenny has some positives, including a declining rate of positive events for hospitalization.
However, Kenny acknowledged that the third wave of variations and epidemics currently plaguing Alberta was “very serious” and that “we will do everything we can to fix it.”
Kenny said his government had already taken “extraordinary measures”, and since December, indoor community meetings have been banned, religious meetings have been banned, and some businesses have not been allowed to operate for more than a year.
Speaking about the potential need to bring in new regulations, Kenny pointed out that he believes the “lockout” in Toronto is not having its desired effect, and that the efficiency of Ontario’s health care system is currently being stretched thin.
“We can keep the hardest locks we can imagine on paper, and … if a large portion of the population doesn’t follow it, it doesn’t matter,” he said.
Kenny pointed out that while public health restrictions in Alberta are similar to those in BC and Saskatchewan, those provinces are seeing their COVID-19 numbers drop, while Alberta’s condition is deteriorating.
The Prime Minister of Alberta is expected to announce the new restrictions on Tuesday
“It would not be the right approach to” hammer “people with strict new regulations,” Kenny said, “if you have a compliance issue like we obviously do in Alberta.”
“There’s a behavioral difference here,” he said, adding that he had heard some Alberta municipalities put forward opposition to public health restrictions – what he said was about him.
Kenny, who formally opposed his public health restrictions in one letter, did not bring in a dozen members of his own government.
“The majority of people try to comply,” Kenny said. “What is needed is a general public purchase for the restrictions in place.
“We all need to be part of the solution.”
Kenny said he had spoken with Justice Minister Kaycee Madu about exploring options for improving the implementation of public health measures.
What can you do safely after vaccination? Dr. Bokoch weighs
Following Kenny’s press conference, opposition leader Rachel Nodley issued a statement saying, “Alberts has lost faith in Jason Kenny and today he has failed again.”
“He said his approach was working, but everyone knew it wasn’t true,” he said. “Alberts can see with their own eyes the increasing case numbers, hospital admissions and ICU admissions.
“Half of the measures put forward by Jason Kenny are not working. He should provide paid sick leave and effective enforcement. He should use more measures throughout the province rather than on a regional basis.
“Any new action should bring all the data and all the recommendations written to Dr. Deena Hinsha’s cabinet.”
Last week, Kenny announced new public health measures for so-called COVID-19 “hot spots” in Alberta. In severely affected jurisdictions, junior and senior high school students were transferred to home learning, while indoor play was temporarily suspended in those regions.
“What we are seeing in recent days strengthens our conclusion that the previous steps in typing the curve in Alberta were not enough,” he said.
For weeks, several public health professionals, epidemiologists and key care physicians have been calling on Alberta to take drastic measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the province.
Late last month, Dr. Noel Gibney, co-chair of the Edmonton Zonal Medical Workers’ Association’s Infectious Diseases Response Team, said Edmonton’s COVID-19 numbers were comparable to where the city was in early December.
“We watch the curves very, very closely,” he said. “They are very similar.
“The only difference is that we started from a higher platform than we did in December.”
Dr Nija Bakshi, a COVID-19 unit doctor at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton, told Global News late last month that the facility had noticed a change since Easter.
“We saw a dramatic increase in enrollment,” he said. “We went from six to seven a day, including the ICU and the (Govt-19) ward.”
With Julia Wong’s files on Global News
See below: Some recent global news videos on the COVID-19 situation in Alberta.
© 2021 Global News, Chorus Entertainment Inc.