Premier Jason Kenney (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Premier Jason Kenney (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Albertans 12 and older will be eligible for COVID vaccines starting next week

New restrictions in place for at least three weeks

Premier Jason Kenney says government does not want to create unnecessary fear, but be “straight up with Albertans” about the impact on the health care system if the growth of cases continues at the same speed, and possibly accelerate.

“We can manage right now. AHS has worked very hard over the last year to increase capacity to do every thing we can. But people need to know there is a limit,” Kenney said on Wednesday morning during press conference to discuss the new COVID-19 restrictions announced Tuesday night.

He said cases are growing by 1.8 per cent daily, and at that pace ICU beds will be overloaded with COVID patients by early June.

“Our stretch capacity is 425 COVID ICU beds. But let’s be clear we can only open up those staffed beds by massively cancelling surgeries and other health care procedures, the cost of which would be very high and frankly, would also likely cost lives.”

Related:

‘Please stay home’: Kenney imposes new COVID-19 restrictions

The sweeping COVID-19 public health measures that will be in place for the next three weeks. The new set of rules apply to municipalities or areas with more than 50 cases per 100,000 people or 30 or more active COVID-19 cases. This would include all central Alberta communities except Drumheller.

Some municipalities with 50 cases per 100,000 people or less than 30 active cases will follow slightly different restrictions.

The fine for violating public health orders will also be doubled from $1,000 to $2,000 and the province will be introducing a tougher protocol for repeat offenders.

Kenney said the restrictions announced Tuesday night “are are tough, but they are absolutely necessary.”

“We must act to bend the curve down one last time.”

He said hopefully the number of people who get sick from COVID will decline as more people get vaccinated.

“Today I am pleased to announce that by this coming Monday, every single Albertan over the age of 12 will be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine. This reflects late-breaking news this morning from Health Canada that the Pfizer vaccine is safe for children at 12 years of age and older, which is obviously great news.”

But there is evidence that vaccines are less effective against the P1 Brazilian variant, he said.

Related:

Alberta confirms blood clot disorder death linked to AstraZeneca vaccine

Among the new restrictions, kindergarten to Grade 12 students across the province will move to online learning until May 25 as of Friday.

As of Wednesday, outdoor gatherings are reduced from 10 to five people, with a strong recommendation to keep those gatherings to just two people. Retail services must limit customer capacity to 10 per cent of occupancy.

All post-secondary institutions must shift to online learning today.

On Sunday at midnight, patio service at bars and restaurants across the province will close and move to take-out only.

Gyms, hair and nail salons and barbershops will also have to close Sunday at midnight for at least three weeks.

As of Sunday, all outdoor sports and recreation are now prohibited except with members of your household or, if living alone, two close contacts. This includes all group physical activities, such as team sports, fitness classes, training sessions, one-on-one lessons and training activities and practices, training and games.

Funerals are limited to 10 people and faith services are allowed to have up to 15 people instead of the previous 15 per cent.

Workplaces with three or more COVID-19 cases will close for 10 days, except for essential and critical services. Kenney advised those who can work from home, should do so.



News tips

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

AlbertaCoronavirusGovernment

Just Posted

TELUS is proposing to construct a 5G tower at Pople Park. Photo: Sheri Regnier
First 5G tower in Trail proposed for placement in popular park

TELUS has a consultation process open until June 28

The Independent Investigations Office of BC is looking into a Castlegar incident. File photo
Police watchdog investigating Castlegar incident

IIO: Woman sustained a reportedly self-inflicted injury

West Kootenay Regional Airport. Photo: Betsy Kline
Central Mountain Air leaving Castlegar airport in July

The airline says market can’t handle two airlines

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

South Slocan’s Ti Loran is among the recipients of this year’s Neil Muth Memorial Scholarship. Photo: Submitted
Neil Muth Memorial Scholarships awarded to 4 students

Students in Creston, South Slocan and Revelstoke are sharing the honour

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

In this Saturday, May 29, 2021, file photo, people crowd the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic. Most of California’s coronavirus restrictions will disappear Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
With COVID tamed, it’s a ‘grand reopening’ in California

No more state rules on social distancing, no more limits on capacity, no more mandatory masks

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Most Read