Alta. adds 1,227 cases of COVID-19; peace officers to apply new restrictions

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EDMONTON – Alberta’s largest doctor has reported 1,227 new cases of COVID-19 and nine more deaths related to the disease. The positivity rate for Thursday was 7.6% after provincial labs performed more than 16,200 tests.

Of the 14,217 Albertans diagnosed with COVID-19, 405 are hospitalized, including 86 in intensive care.

With new trade restrictions in effect on Friday, Alberta Justice Minister and Solicitor General Kaycee Madu announced that provincial and municipal peace officers will enforce the COVID-19 measures announced Tuesday.

“We are just making sure that more control is available to respond quickly and decisively to situations where groups violate public health measures and thus endanger the health of the community,” Madu said.

Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, pleaded with Albertans to respect law enforcement officers after hearing criticism and verbal abuse against them.

“I know the restrictions currently being placed on all of us are difficult, but they are not the fault of law enforcement and inspectors who are just trying to enforce what is in place and help the spread,” Dr Hinshaw said.

Fines start at $ 1,000 and can go up to $ 100,000, he added.

RESTRICTIONS, TRAGIC MILESTONES AND BETRAYAL: ALBERTA WEEK TO COVID-19

Albertans might consider November the month to remember or forget during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Driven by daily case and death records, on November 16, Hinshaw admitted “we’re in wave two.”

Things have only gotten worse since then, with Alberta adding more than 1,000 coronavirus cases in each of the past eight days and struggling to keep up with contact tracing.

This week began with the Chief Medical Officer of Health announcing that she would be making daily updates and meeting with government officials to come up with more recommendations than they would reveal on Tuesday.

During the eight-hour meeting, Prime Minister Jason Kenney called for a state of public health emergency, banning indoor gatherings, limiting outdoor gatherings, weddings and funerals to 10 people and sending of students in Grades 7 to 12 learn online until at least January.

The Prime Minister has allowed restaurants and pubs to remain open, provided Albertans only sit with members of their household or their two loved ones, if they live alone.

“If we don’t start bending the curve with this latest round of measures and increased effort by Albertans, let me be frank: we are going to impose more stringent measures, probably in about three weeks,” he said. Kenney said.

Rachel Notley, leader of the NDP, said Tuesday’s restrictions were “just not enough”.

To add to November’s records, Alberta surpassed 50,000 total COVID-19 cases and 500 deaths on Wednesday.

Dr Hinshaw called the death toll a tragic milestone and limited visitor access to acute care facilities with outbreaks in communities with high case rates to protect Alberta’s most vulnerable to disease .

The ninth month of the pandemic was Alberta’s deadliest, with 193 victims.

As the last full week of November drew to a close, Dr Hinshaw addressed the CBC News report which cited secret tapes during hours of meetings between her and cabinet members earlier in the pandemic.

She called the leaks “a personal betrayal and a betrayal of trust.”

“I am deeply disappointed that confidential internal conversations have been shared, actions which constitute a violation of the Public Service Oath and Code of Conduct.

Hinshaw is not sure who leaked the tapes and said an investigation was underway.

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