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Tuesday , 19 January 2021
Premier Jason Kenney announces funding for the Cold Lake Fish Hatchery this summer.

Masks mandated provincewide, some businesses forced to close under Alberta’s new health measures

The Alberta Government has again added new health restrictions.

These mandatory restrictions apply provincewide and will be in place at least until January 12, 2021.

All indoor and outdoor gatherings are prohibited and masks are mandatory in all indoor places throughout the province, indoor workplaces, places of worship and facilities outside the home.

Effective Dec. 13, some businesses will be required to close, reduce capacity or limit their in-person access.

Retail services must reduce customer capacity to 15 per cent, all restaurants, pubs, bars, lounges and cafes are closed to in-person service, with just take out, curbside pickup and delivery services allowed.

Working from home is mandatory unless the employer requires a physical presence for operational effectiveness, the government said.

All indoor fitness and recreation facilities must close, as well as personal and wellness services.

Personal services include:

  • esthetics, manicure, pedicure, body waxing, make-up
  • body, nose and ear piercing, and tattoos
  • artificial tanning and spray tanning
  • facial, eyebrow and eyelash treatments
  • cosmetic skin and body treatments
  • laser hair and tattoo removal

“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,” said Kenney.

“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.”

These measures will be enforced with $1,000 fines that could get heavier in the courts.

It’s been two weeks since the most recent announcement of enhanced health measures.

See all additional health restrictions here.

Lakeland COVID update

Thirty-two new cases have been reported in the St. Paul-Saddle Lake area on the province’s COVID-19 data map under “local geographic area” on Tuesday. There is 148 active cases with 256 recoveries in that area. Saddle Lake News, Events, and Information reported in their last update on Monday that there is 27 active cases and 207 recoveries.

Lac La Biche continues to see a big increase of cases with 14 new positive tests on Tuesday. There is 95 active cases, 49 recoveries, and one death in their “local geographic area.”

In the Cold Lake area, there is seven new cases. There are 62 active cases and 111 recoveries, which includes Cold Lake First Nations where there is two active cases on reserve and 21 recoveries.

There is 11 active cases within Frog Lake First Nations on reserve, they reported in an update Monday, with one in hospital. In their “local geographic area” there is 36 active cases and 14 recoveries.

In the Bonnyville area, there is four new cases on Tuesday. There is 35 active cases and 79 recoveries, and includes Kehewin, which reported five active cases and 46 recoveries on Monday.

In the County of Vermilion River, seven new cases were reported. There are 40 active cases, 26 recoveries, and one death within the county.

Two Hills County has seen seven new cases as well: 40 active cases, 28 recoveries, and one death.

Smoky Lake area has two new cases, 39 active and 41 recovered.

Provincial update

On Tuesday, chief medical officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw confirmed 1,727 new cases after over 19,000 tests.

The provincial positivity rate is 9.4 per cent.

Currently, there is 654 Albertans in hospital with 112 of those in ICU’s.

Nine deaths have been reported in the past 24 hours to Alberta Health related to COVID-19.

Editor’s note: All case totals are from the province’s virus data map and local First Nations health authorities. They are totalled by “local geographic area” on the map to get the most precise information, except for Two Hills County and Vermilion River County, which is sorted by municipality.

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.