Premier Jason Kenney (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Premier Jason Kenney (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Albertans 12 and older will be eligible for COVID vaccines starting next week

New restrictions in place for at least three weeks

Premier Jason Kenney says government does not want to create unnecessary fear, but be “straight up with Albertans” about the impact on the health care system if the growth of cases continues at the same speed, and possibly accelerate.

“We can manage right now. AHS has worked very hard over the last year to increase capacity to do every thing we can. But people need to know there is a limit,” Kenney said on Wednesday morning during press conference to discuss the new COVID-19 restrictions announced Tuesday night.

He said cases are growing by 1.8 per cent daily, and at that pace ICU beds will be overloaded with COVID patients by early June.

“Our stretch capacity is 425 COVID ICU beds. But let’s be clear we can only open up those staffed beds by massively cancelling surgeries and other health care procedures, the cost of which would be very high and frankly, would also likely cost lives.”

Related:

‘Please stay home’: Kenney imposes new COVID-19 restrictions

The sweeping COVID-19 public health measures that will be in place for the next three weeks. The new set of rules apply to municipalities or areas with more than 50 cases per 100,000 people or 30 or more active COVID-19 cases. This would include all central Alberta communities except Drumheller.

Some municipalities with 50 cases per 100,000 people or less than 30 active cases will follow slightly different restrictions.

The fine for violating public health orders will also be doubled from $1,000 to $2,000 and the province will be introducing a tougher protocol for repeat offenders.

Kenney said the restrictions announced Tuesday night “are are tough, but they are absolutely necessary.”

“We must act to bend the curve down one last time.”

He said hopefully the number of people who get sick from COVID will decline as more people get vaccinated.

“Today I am pleased to announce that by this coming Monday, every single Albertan over the age of 12 will be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine. This reflects late-breaking news this morning from Health Canada that the Pfizer vaccine is safe for children at 12 years of age and older, which is obviously great news.”

But there is evidence that vaccines are less effective against the P1 Brazilian variant, he said.

Related:

Alberta confirms blood clot disorder death linked to AstraZeneca vaccine

Among the new restrictions, kindergarten to Grade 12 students across the province will move to online learning until May 25 as of Friday.

As of Wednesday, outdoor gatherings are reduced from 10 to five people, with a strong recommendation to keep those gatherings to just two people. Retail services must limit customer capacity to 10 per cent of occupancy.

All post-secondary institutions must shift to online learning today.

On Sunday at midnight, patio service at bars and restaurants across the province will close and move to take-out only.

Gyms, hair and nail salons and barbershops will also have to close Sunday at midnight for at least three weeks.

As of Sunday, all outdoor sports and recreation are now prohibited except with members of your household or, if living alone, two close contacts. This includes all group physical activities, such as team sports, fitness classes, training sessions, one-on-one lessons and training activities and practices, training and games.

Funerals are limited to 10 people and faith services are allowed to have up to 15 people instead of the previous 15 per cent.

Workplaces with three or more COVID-19 cases will close for 10 days, except for essential and critical services. Kenney advised those who can work from home, should do so.



News tips

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

AlbertaCoronavirusGovernment

Just Posted

Department of Oceans and Fisheries has announced as of July 19 chinook salmon is not to be fished in certain areas in BC tidal waters until July. Spring chinook salmon are seen swimming. (Photo courtesy Michael Humling, US Fish & Wildlife Service)
Chinook Salmon limits set to zero in some BC tidal waters

DFO implement restrictions to protect Chinook Salmon

Richard Green and Alex Campbell stand in solemn reflection of the survivors and victims of the residential school system on May 30, in Prince Rupert National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21 is a time to reflect on the sacrifices and honour the contributions made by First Nations, Inuit and Metis of Canada. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Prince Rupert Reflecting on National Indigenous Peoples Day

June 21 is to celebrate the contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Metis to Canada’s culture

Mark Perry in concert at the old Driftwood School (Marty Clemens photo)
Mark Perry releases new single ahead of Northwest album.

“Golden Spruce” tells the story of a forester who cut down an old-growth Sitka Spruce on Haida Gwaii

Five rehabilitated grizzly bears were released this month into the Bella Coola area. The Northern Lights Wildlife Society will also be delivering 36 black bears to areas across the province where they were previously found. “They’re ready to go and they’re already trying to get out,” says Angelika Langen. “We feel good when we can make that possible and they don’t have to stay behind fences for the rest of their lives.” (Northern Lights Wildlife Society Facebook photo)
Suspected methamphetamine and scale seized by police. (Terrace RCMP photo)
Terrace RCMP seize guns, ammo, suspected narcotics

Man released after court appearance

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Most Read