File photo of Premier Jason Kenney. Photo credit to Government of Alberta
Premier Jason Kenney has declared a state of public heath emergency in Alberta.
He introduced on Tuesday what he calls bold and targeted new measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Alberta.
The new measures come after an eight hour meeting of the COVID cabinet committee on Monday where Kenney says attendees were reminded of the profound human impact of this pandemic.
He says to protect the vulnerable, we all have to do our part to prevent spread.
Effective immediately, there will be no indoor social gatherings permitted in any setting, in any part of the province, at any time. Outdoor social gatherings will be capped at ten people.
The ten person maximum will also apply to funerals and weddings and no receptions will be permitted.
As of Friday, places of worship located in regions under enhanced status will be capped at one-third of the fire code and attendees must be masked. Faith based leaders are encouraged to move services online.
New rules are also being implemented for businesses operating in regions under enhanced status and will be in effect for three weeks. After that point, the measures will be re-evaluated.
Retail businesses and services may remain open, but will be restricted to 25 per cent of occupancy limits, in-person dining will be allowed to continue but those dining out must be limited to those in a single household.
Businesses that can remain open by appointment only: hair salons, personal care services, hotels, etc.
Temporarily closing: Banquet halls, conference centres, and concert venues.
Employees who have the ability to work from home are also being asked to do so.
When it comes to schools, all students in Grades 7 through 12 province-wide will move to online learning at the end of the month and will continue this way until winter break on Dec. 18. For the Lethbridge School Division, classes will resume on Jan. 4 online and in person learning will begin again on Jan. 11.
Winter break will begin on Dec. 18 for kindergarten to Grade 6 students in Lethbridge public schools as well with classes resuming online Jan. 4 to Jan. 8. In school learning for these students will also resume on Jan. 11.
Diploma exams will be optional for the rest of the school year.
Masks will also be mandatory in any indoor workplace within the cities of Edmonton and Calgary as well as the Edmonton and Calgary Zones of Alberta Health Services.
Kenney warns if these measures do not have a meaningful impact, more drastic action will have to be taken.
There were 1,115 new cases of COVID-19 in Alberta on Monday and 16 additional deaths.
As far as active cases go, the province hit 13, 349 which is another new record.
Here in the South Zone there were 31 additional cases over the past day with four of them in Lethbridge.
Lethbridge County tallied two more cases, the MD of Taber reported five new cases and Medicine Hat confirmed nine new cases of COVID-19.