Alberta is now in a state of public health emergency, Premier Jason Kenney declared on Tuesday afternoon with the escalation of COVID-19 cases.
This empowers authorities under the Public Health Act to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
That involves sweeping new measures of social distancing which prohibits any gathering of over 50 people, all Albertans are prohibited from attending public facilities and private entertainment facilities including casinos, bingo halls, bars, theatres, and children’s play centres until further notice.
Albertans are also prohibited from attending recreational facilities, arenas, science centres, museums, art galleries and community centres, fitness centres and entertainment facilities.
Weddings, funerals, conferences and worship gatherings over 50 people should also be cancelled, said Kenney.
This does not apply to health care facilities, legislature, grocery stores, airports, and other essential services.
Non-profit community and religious soup kitchens will also be exempt from this order as will public shelters.
“Decisive action is needed and we are taking that action,” said Kenney.
Sit-down restaurants, not including pubs, delis and coffee shops will be allowed to remain open at this time but limited to 50 people or 50 per cent of their authorized capacity, whichever is lower, said Kenney.
Drive-thru, takeout and delivery will still be permitted, but the government has changed regulations surrounding that.
An immediate injection of $60 million to support civil society organizations, charities, and non-profits, helping those in isolation to cope with crisis, said Kenney.
“The entire government of Alberta is totally focused on dealing with this crisis. This is a serious moment in our history. And COVID-19 will test all of us. But I believe and I know that this province is resilient and we’re ready for the test,” said Kenney.
Alberta’s Provincial Operations Centre has also been elevated from a level 3 to a level 4, the highest level.