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Monday , 19 April 2021
Premier Jason Kenney announces funding for the Cold Lake Fish Hatchery summer 2020.

Sweeping new health measures in Alberta announced on Tuesday; Lakeland COVID cases rise

Premier Jason Kenney declared a state of public health emergency and pushed through a series of new mandatory measures that will affect businesses, schools, social gatherings, and places of worship for at least the next three weeks.

No indoor social gatherings will be permitted in any setting across the province, said Kenney, with an outdoor max of 10.

There is no more than 10 in-person attendees at funerals and weddings allowed and no receptions permitted. Indoor social contact should be limited to those at home, the government said.

“Social gatherings are the biggest problem,” said Kenney during a press conference on Tuesday.

Peace officers will be looked at again to enforce public health rules and fines begin at $1000.

There will be an emergency alert on smartphones to make sure every Albertan is aware of these rules, Kenney said.

One-third attendance will be allowed at places of worship.

Effective Friday, there will be new temporary measures at businesses, some to be closed, some partially open, and some open by appointment only.

In-person dining with restaurants and bars will be allowed to continue, one household will be allowed to sit together.

All workers who can work from home should do so, Kenney said.

All workers in an office setting in Edmonton, Calgary and surrounding areas, must wear a mask.

Businesses

Businesses that are closed for in-person service include:

  • Banquet halls, conference centres, trade shows, auditoria and concert venues, non-approved/licensed markets, community centres
  • Children’s play places or indoor playgrounds
  • All levels of sport (professional, semi-professional, junior, collegiate/universities and amateur). Exemptions may be considered.

Most retail businesses may remain open with capacity limited to 25 per cent of the occupancy set under the Alberta Fire Code.

  • Retail, including liquor and cannabis
  • Grocery stores
  • Pharmacies
  • Clothing stores
  • Computer and technology stores
  • Hardware
  • Automotive
  • Farmers markets approved by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
  • Unlicensed outdoor seasonal markets

Some entertainment and event services may remain open with capacity limited to 25 per cent of the occupancy set under the Alberta Fire Code.

  • Movie theatres
  • Museums and galleries
  • Libraries
  • Casinos, offering slots only. Table games must be closed at this time.
  • Indoor entertainment centres including amusement parks, water parks, bingo halls and racing centres.
  • Indoor fitness, recreation, sports and physical activity centres, including dance and yoga studios, martial arts, gymnastics and private or public swimming pools.
    • Facilities can be open for individual studio time, training or exercise only.
    • There can be no group fitness, group classes, group training, team practices or games.
    • Instructors can use facility to broadcast virtual fitness classes from, but there can be no group class.

Businesses open by appointment only are not permitted to offer walk-in services. Appointments should be limited to one-on-one services.

  • Personal services such as hair salons and barbershops, esthetics, manicure, pedicure, body waxing and make-up, piercing and tattoo services,
  • Wellness services including acupuncture, massage and reflexology
  • Professional services such as lawyers, mediators, accountants and photographers
  • Private one-on-one lessons (no private group lessons permitted)
  • Hotels, motels, hunting and fishing lodges

These measures will be in place for a minimum of three weeks, to be reevaluated by mid-December.

Schools

On Nov. 30, all Grade 7-12 students will end in-person classes and begin at-home learning.

They will do school at home until Dec. 18, the beginning of holiday break.

In-person classes won’t begin again until Jan. 11.

Diploma exams will be optional for the rest of the school year.

Lakeland COVID update

Eight new cases were reported in the Cold Lake area on Tuesday on the AHS COVID data map, with now 54 active cases and 39 recoveries. Holy Cross Elementary reported a positive case on Monday.

Twelve new cases were reported in the St. Paul-Saddle Lake area with 92 active cases and 141 recoveries. On Monday evening, Saddle Lake News, Events, and Information reported 28 active, and 139 recovered.

In the Bonnyville area, three new infections were reported, 25 active cases and 50 now recovered. Kehewin Communications reports 20 active cases and 21 recoveries in their last update on Monday.

There are now 26 active cases in the Lac La Biche area and 15 recoveries, an increase in eight cases.

In the Smoky Lake area, there is three new infections, leaving 13 active cases and 21 recoveries.

There are six active cases in the Frog Lake area, although they do not appear to be within the First Nation.

Within Vermilion River County, there is zero active cases as of Tuesday.

One case is active in the Two Hills County area.

Chief medical officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw confirmed 1,115 new cases of the virus on Tuesday in Alberta.

There are 348 Albertans in the hospital due to the virus, 66 of which are in intensive care.

On Tuesday, 16 new deaths were reported.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.