Alberta's Kenney to field questions on new COVID rules, looming hospital crisis

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The province now has 23,623 active cases with 671 Albertans hospitalized and 150 in intensive care.

Premier Jason Kenney will hold his first press conference since announcing a wide-sweeping clampdown of public health measures meant to lessen the impact of a surging third wave of COVID-19 infections.

Retail services will be reduced to 10 per cent capacity. Outdoor sports and recreation will be limited to households and close contacts only, and youth and adult performance will not be permitted.

Also effective immediately, all workplaces experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks must close for ten days, with exceptions for critical workplaces. Amongst the new measures is a mandate to move all post-secondary institutions online for at least three weeks.

Among them, all students from Kindergarten to grade 12 will transition to at-home learning starting Friday until May 25th.

As of 11:59 p.m. Sunday night, personal and wellness services like hair, tanning, and nail salons, as well as tattoo shops, will close for a three week period. However, establishments can remain open for takeout, delivery, or curbside pickup. Health and professional services like massage therapy, dentists, accountants, and lawyers will be by appointment only.

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To date 27 people have got in touch with Healthline to say they were in the locations of interest at the relevant time. In Perth on Saturday authorities confirmed a hotel security guard and his two roommates tested positive to Covid-19.

As numbers continued to soar over the weekend and hundreds of unmasked people attended a "No More Lockdowns" rodeo in central Alberta, Kenney said new measures were needed.

Albert Premier Jason Kenney introduces new wave of provincial restrictions. Restaurants, already closed to in-person dining, must also close their patios.

Alberta has had more than 1,000 new cases nearly daily for almost a month.

As promised during Monday's press conference, Kenney is expected to present a package of new restrictions meant to bend the curve of transmission of COVID-19 during the live speech.

"The reason we are at this critical stage of the pandemic in Alberta, with record-high daily case counts and intensive-care numbers, is precisely because, for whatever reason, too many Albertans are ignoring the rules that we now have in place", he said. Variants represent 62.3 per cent of Alberta's cases.

Hospitals were treating 671 patients COVID on Tuesday, including 150 in intensive care.

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