Alberta government says no further measures needed right now to stem surge of COVID-19

By: Thomas I. LiknessEBC News Service

(Eagle News) — The Alberta government has rejected the advice of critical care doctors in the western Canadian province who are calling for a ‘fire break’ lockdown to slow the spread of COVID-19.

With more 1,100 COVID-19 patients in hospital — more than at any other time in the pandemic —and ICUs at near capacity, Premier Jason Kenney says the government needs more time to see if recently announced measures are effective.

Those measures included mandatory masking in indoor spaces and a vaccine passport of sorts.

“If we need to take additional measures, we will, but they have to be effective,” Kenney said Tuesday.

But he doubts a lockdown would do much.

“If we were to bring in widespread restrictions, they would most likely be complied with by people who are vaccinated, but we would likely see large scale non-compliance among the unvaccinated population,” said Kenney. “That wouldn’t necessarily get us much further ahead.”

But Alberta doctors have written to both the premier and his health minister says a lockdown for at least a month is necessary. They say this should include closing schools.

Children aged five to 11 have a record high COVID-19 infection rate.

Nearly 200 schools in the province have declared outbreaks.

The only thing the government announced at the Tuesday news conference was a ban on protests outside Alberta hospitals.

Kenney says that will ensure people aren’t blocked from seeking health care and health care workers are kept safe.

Violators face fines ranging from $1,000 to $25,000 and up to six months in jail.

But for Albertans who were expecting the government to come up with a plan to tame this fourth wave, today was a disappointment.

It appears politics trumps advice from health care experts.

Once again, Alberta seems to be following a pattern of being the last to bring in tough measures, the first to get rid of them, rinse and repeat.
(Eagle News Service)