Additional measures in place for Alberta's purple zones
By Brittany Willsie
On Monday, 860 new cases of COVID-19 were identified, bringing the total number of active cases in Alberta to 10,031.
A number of additional health measures came into effect on Friday, Nov. 13, for communities on the enhanced measures list. Red Deer is among the communities listed that have restrictions for social gatherings, recreational activities and restaurants.
The enhanced health measures include:
No social gatherings inside your home or outside of your community.
Limit of 15 people for family and social gatherings.
Limit of three cohorts, plus childcare.
Masks 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. and close by 11 p.m. from Nov. 13-27.
Ban on indoor group fitness classes and team sports from Nov. 13-27.
Ban on group singing, dancing and performing activities from Nov. 13-27.
Wedding and funeral services, both indoor and outdoor, limited to 50 people.
Faith-based gatherings limited to a third of capacity.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, commented on the newly introduced measures on her Twitter account.
“As I’ve said before, we are at a critical point, and we all have a say in how we’ll fare in the weeks and months ahead. The targeted measures introduced last week include a number of actions that you and your household can take to help limit the spread of COVID-19.”
The enhanced measures apply to Calgary, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Fort McMurray, Lethbridge and Red Deer. These municipalities are designated as purple on the provincial government’s COVID-19 status map, meaning they have been added to the watch list and also have additional measures in place.
Municipalities are added to the watch list when they breach the threshold of 50 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population.
Most of the enhanced measures that came into effect on Nov. 13 also apply to the other purple zones in Alberta. The only measures that don’t apply are the ban on indoor group fitness classes and team sports and the ban on group singing, dancing and performing activities.
Six municipalities bordering Clearwater County are designated purple zones, including Yellowhead County, Brazeau County, County of Wetaskiwin, Ponoka County, Mountain View County and Improvement District No. 9 (Banff).
Premier Jason Kenney spoke on the province’s response to the pandemic during an interview on The Roy Green Show on Nov. 15.
“We have to rely on, firstly, people exercising personal responsibility. If we continue to see evidence of large at-home parties — typically all the younger people are just trying to blow off steam, understandably — we may have to start enforcing, or, bringing in an actual health order instead of a recommendation,” Kenney said.
Since the beginning, a main priority in limiting COVID-19 cases has been to not overwhelm the health system. Kenney reiterated this, asking Albertans to consider the real effects of the pandemic.
“My appeal to Albertans is this is not like a political argument — this is not an abstraction; this is a reality. If you have a friend or relative who is on the surgical wait list, or needs non-urgent medical care, they are being negatively affected by the growth of the virus in Alberta.”