Unfortunately, Alberta has taken a turn for the worst in the last week as COVID-19 cases have exponentially risen above the peak we experienced in May. As a result, the Alberta Government has pushed for a two-week pause on social activities and gatherings.
"If you can start meeting friends or family members via Skype or Zoom, please start today." — Dr. Deena Hinshaw
The two-week pause will hopefully curb the spread of COVID-19 in time for the holiday season, as many families would like to gather to celebrate. But, some doctors don't believe the current measures are enough and are encouraging the government to adopt a "circuit breaker" approach. This approach would be a 28-day lockdown with strict restrictions and a defined end-point. It would be similar to the lockdown earlier this year. Non-essential services would shut-down to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and give the healthcare system a chance to catch up to the number of cases.
"A circuit breaker, in my opinion, is required — a hard one. I think people can do anything that you ask them to do if they know there's a defined period to it, also. And in that sense, I don't think we should delude ourselves. 14 days is one cycle. You know, you need two cycles to really break COVID, in my opinion." — Calgary Emergency Management Agency Chief Tom Sampson (CBC)
In the meantime, here are the new measures to keep in mind:
No social gatherings inside your home or outside of your community
15-person limit on family and social gatherings, but avoid if possible
Limit of 3 cohorts, plus child care
Mask use encouraged in all indoor workplaces
Employers in office settings to reduce employees in the workplace at one time
Restaurants and pubs stop liquor sales by 10 p.m., close by 11 p.m.
Ban on indoor group fitness classes and team sports
Ban on group singing, dancing, and performing activities
50-person limit on wedding and funeral services (indoor & outdoor)
Faith-based gatherings limited to 1/3 capacity