Hinshaw says easing COVID-19 measures are in sight but not quite yet –

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Hinshaw says easing COVID-19 measures are in sight but not quite yet – fr


“The best thing we can do to further reduce the spread is to step up vaccines and monitor public health measures,” Hinshaw said.

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Stubbornly high hospitalization rates and the number of active cases are holding back the easing of restrictions on COVID-19, Alberta’s top doctor said Tuesday.

While British Columbia announced a plan to remove restrictions on Tuesday, no such announcement has been made in Alberta, although it is expected on Wednesday when Premier Jason Kenney and Health Minister Tyler Shandro hold a press conference.

But as COVID-19 trends in Alberta move in the right direction, including a 52% drop in active cases since the peak of Wave 3 earlier this month, caution is still in order before restrictions would be relaxed considerably, said Dr Deena Hinshaw.

“We are rapidly approaching the point where we can safely lighten the measures – it is getting closer and closer every day,” she said.

“But there are still over 12,000 active COVID-19 cases, the same number we had in mid-January.

“The best thing we can do to further reduce the spread is to step up vaccines and monitor public health measures.”

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Active COVID-19 cases in Alberta fell to 12,078 after surpassing 25,000 on May 10.

Hinshaw said the uptake of the vaccine by Albertans was “remarkable,” but added that there was an increase in vaccine “no-shows” over the long weekend from one to one. three percent typical to over four percent.

And she noted that some places – including the High Level area northwest of Edmonton, which has a first-dose level of 11 percent – have much lower vaccination rates than most of the province, which is closer to 50 percent.

“In some places we have to provide a little more. . . vaccine availability and information, we ensure that people have access to information not only through formal channels, but also through local channels, such as health care providers who are reliable sources of information ” , Hinshaw said.

The Government of Alberta is targeting vaccine reluctance with an announcement on an electronic notice board in Royal Oak on Tuesday, May 25, 2021. Photo par Gavin Young / Postmedia

On Tuesday, students across the province except the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo resumed classes, three weeks after the announcement of the suspension of in-person teaching.

Earlier this month, the UCP government gave its approval to an amended version of COVID-19 from the Calgary Stampede in July, without providing a timeline for easing the broader restrictions.

Some government critics say it’s a reckless and inconsistent move more aligned with politics than science.

A Calgary emergency doctor said it was a gamble.

“It’s always a race between vaccines and variants – I’m mostly worried about B1617 – so it’s definitely a bold and perhaps reckless move,” said Dr Joe Vipond.

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” Time will tell us. “

Hinshaw said he hoped a continued drop in cases and an intensified vaccination effort would make events like the Stampede viable.

“It’s important to remember that many of the Stampede events are outdoor events, so the particular setting mitigates the risk of transmission,” she said.

“The things that should be removed would be restrictions on social gatherings and the public, and those kinds of restrictions that we can consider relaxing if we can reduce this risk of transmission and improve our vaccine protection.”

The Stampede will tailor its operations to any public health measures in place, exhibition spokesperson Kristina Barnes said last week.

“There will be some distance from the podium and we will work with Alberta Health to follow the guidelines in place,” she said.

Stampede Park was photographed on Thursday, May 13, 2021. The Calgary Stampede is hoping to host the event this year. Photo par Gavin Young / Postmedia

It is also expected that there will be 15% fewer attractions halfway through this year’s Stampede, which canceled the entire 10-day event last year.

As of Tuesday, there were just 387 new infections reported – a far cry from the more than 2,000 daily new cases recorded earlier this month, although the 9.9% positivity rate remains high.

There are 565 people hospitalized with the virus, including 158 in intensive care – up from 722 and 177 respectively on May 13.

Alberta has also recorded nine other disease-related deaths, including a man in his 40s in the Calgary area and a woman in her 50s in the Edmonton area, bringing the total toll to 2,192.

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Meanwhile, Calgary Emergency Management Agency chief Sue Henry said the situation in Calgary is improving, but it is important that Calgarians remain vigilant.

“Active cases in Calgary have gone from over 9,500 on May 3 to a high of over 11,500 on May 11, and we are now down to 5,800 on Monday,” Henry said at the management committee meeting. emergencies on Tuesday. As of Tuesday, the total number of active cases in the Calgary area fell to 5,133.

“So overall things are improving, but we’re not out of the woods yet. “

Hospitalizations and ICU admissions in Calgary remain near or above the peak recorded during the second wave of COVID-19 infections, Henry said.

Calgary’s ICU admissions peaked at 77 on May 18 and are now at 62.

– With files from Stephanie Babych

[email protected]

Twitter: @BillKaufmannjrn



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