EDMONTON, AB – Alberta’s Premier announcing Thursday that all COVID-19 health restrictions currently in effect will be extended for another two weeks.

Jason Kenney says case numbers, hospitalizations and testing positivity rates remain high so everyone must continue to follow existing health measures until at least Jan. 21.

“These mandatory measures are in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 and we are not yet in a position to remove or reduce them. Keeping these measures in place means we are again asking Albertans to make sacrifices – but they are necessary to protect our province. We all have the power to make individual choices to follow the health guidelines and help protect our loved ones, colleagues and neighbours. We are asking you to keep making those good choices.” – Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health

The Premier also confirmed what his Education Minister announced on Monday, that after a week of online learning post-Christmas, all students would be heading back to the classroom next week.

Students in Grades 7 through 12 have been learning online since Nov. 30 while kids in all grades have been at home this past week.

Kenney says this decision weighs the latest evidence of cases dropping in all school-aged groups in December with the importance of getting kids back to routine.

After only a slight increase in the number of active cases reported Wednesday (39), a more substantial increase of 968 was confirmed on Thursday.

There were also 24 additional deaths reported in the past day.

In Lethbridge there were six new cases reported and the number of active cases dropped by two to 80.

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