Federal government spied on Canadians during shutdowns

Just before the Christmas break, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney imposed additional restrictions due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant across the province.

The province has opened up access to COVID-19 booster shots for Albertans aged 18 and older who received their second dose at least five months ago.

And new restrictions due to take effect on December 24 focus on reducing the risk of spreading through super-spreader events at high-capacity sites.

Albertans are also being asked to reduce social contact while on vacation by 50%.

“While these new measures will hopefully reduce risk during large events, our small, daily actions can have a big impact,” Kenney said.

“This is why I am calling on all Albertans to halve their number of contacts over the next few weeks, to follow the guidelines already in place and to get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible.

“This is the most important thing we can do right now to protect ourselves from Omicron. “

The new mandatory measures taking effect at 12:01 am on December 24 are:

  • For rooms in the restriction exemption program: capacity limit of 50% in rooms that can accommodate more than 1,000 people. For rooms with a capacity between 500 and 1000 occupants, 500 is the limit.
  • No consumption of food or drink in public seated or during intermissions in the places mentioned above.
  • There is no impact on sites under 500.
  • Maximum table capacity of 10 people in restaurants, pubs and bars. No mixing between the tables.
  • No interactive activity in restaurants, pubs and bars (eg dancing, darts and billiards).
  • Restaurants, pubs and bars must stop serving alcohol at 11 p.m. and close at 12:30 a.m.

Restrictions on indoor and outdoor social gatherings, including weddings, funerals, places of worship and businesses, remain the same and the provincial government encourages Albertans to avoid social gatherings on statutory holidays at work.

Masking in all public spaces, including those participating in the REP, will also remain mandatory.

“These new measures, along with more recalls and the availability of rapid tests, will help slow the spread of COVID-19,” Health Minister Jason Copping said.

“These efforts are essential as work continues to prepare our healthcare system for the potential challenges of the Omicron variant.

“I know Albertans are tired of the pandemic, but we need to take what we have learned from previous waves and urgently apply it to our current situation.”

Albertans have been advised to take the first mRNA vaccine available to them for a third dose.

Although the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines provide a high level of protection against COVID-19, only Pfizer is offered to people aged 18 to 29 due to the slightly increased risk of myocarditis in young people, especially in men.

Kenney also announced that the province has authorized the direct purchase of 10 million rapid tests scheduled for delivery in January.

Free rapid test kits were made available to Albertans on December 17. More than 2.5 million tests – or 500,000 test kits – have been shipped to participating AHS facilities and pharmacies, and the province has confirmed there are more to come.

Visit alberta.ca/CovidRapidTests to find the location closest to you with inventory available, as many locations still have supplies available.

Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, suggested Albertans use high-quality, well-fitting masks. People with serious risk factors are also advised to wear medical masks in all settings outside of their home.

“Now more than ever, it’s important for Albertans to keep track of public health measures and consider how their actions may affect others,” said Hinshaw.

“While we are still learning about Omicron, we know it is highly transmissible – cases are currently doubling in a matter of days. Reducing contacts will not only slow the spread of Omicron, but it can help save us precious time. to prepare for what’s to come.

Hinshaw said that in the past 24 hours, Alberta has seen 786 new cases of COVID-19 including 329 requiring hospitalization, 69 currently in intensive care and two Albertans have died.

Hinshaw also said Omicron is now considered the main variant with 1,609 cases in Alberta since it was first detected less than three weeks ago. Omicron cases double every two or three days, according to Hinshaw.

“Anyone who feels sick should stay home,” Hinshaw said, adding that it was now a legal requirement.

She also suggested that families consider celebrating “Christmas in July” and only getting together with “your own home” this year.

All Albertans 18 years of age and older who received their second dose 5 months or more ago can schedule reminders online with participating pharmacies or AHSs using the Alberta Vaccine Reservation System or by calling AHS at 811.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter for Western Standard
[email protected]

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