Alberta imposes new Covid-19 restrictions amid looming hospital bed shortage
Marjorie Carmona Newman | TFC News Alberta, Canada
Posted at Sep 21 2021 08:55 AM | Updated as of Sep 21 2021 12:20 PM
Alberta residents were caught by surprise with the announcement of new province-wide Covid-19 restrictions and the implementation of a vaccine passport system. The policies came amid a surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney declared a state of public health emergency last week, warning that the province could run out of intensive care beds and staff to manage Covid patients within the next ten days.
New temporary health measures beginning September 20th include restrictions on restaurants, indoor gatherings, retail, indoor sport and entertainment venues. Meanwhile, mandatory masking and physical distancing in indoor public spaces, as well as measures in workplaces, indoor private gatherings, places of worship, and schools, have begun. Among these measures is a mandatory work from home order unless the employer has determined that physical presence is required for operational effectiveness.
Edmonton resident Tess Billedo disagrees with the restrictions. "Mas maganda kung lockdown para wala nang balik balikan. After two weeks, another [set of] restrictions again, and again (It’s better if it’s a lockdown so there’s no going back)," the Filipino Canadian said.
Another Fil-Can, Manny Arban, said he expected the new restrictions "because of so many high cases in Alberta."
Meanwhile, starting September 20th, vaccine-eligible individuals in Alberta will also be required to provide government-issued proof of immunization or a negative privately-paid Covid-19 test from within the previous 72 hours to access a variety of participating social, recreational, and discretionary events and businesses. Albertans can access copies of their vaccination records through MyHealth records. The printable card will be available from September 19.
Some 80% of Albertans have had at least one vaccine dose, and over 70% are fully vaccinated.
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