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Alberta Health offers advice to anyone who spots COVID-19 rule breakers – CTV Toronto

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CALGARY —
While the province of Alberta may be in a different situation than many other Canadian provinces when it comes to COVID-19 health guidelines, there are still many important rules to follow here.

But what do you need to do when you spot someone who isn’t following all guidelines in place to stop the spread of COVID-19?

The province says Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, has spoken about the importance of Albertans following all public health advice throughout the pandemic.

Most recently, she said it was up to Albertans to make sure COVID-19 cases are kept low so the health-care system can maintain service.

“I continue to urge Albertans to help us reduce demand on our ICUs and on our hospitals by following all measures in place,” she said during Friday’s update.

Despite the consistent reminders of best practices, there have been multiple occasions where Albertans have refused to follow all the proper health guidelines.

One such situation occurred last week at an Edmonton-area Costco where a man refused to abide by store regulations to wear a face covering.

Police officers soon became involved in the incident and arrested the man for trespassing.

Another incident, earlier this year, involved a video of a verbal confrontation inside a Calgary Fabricland store being posted online.

In it, a woman who was not wearing a mask called staff and other customers “sheep” and claimed no one was actually sick from COVID-19.

Alberta Health advises when you witness anyone not following proper health guidelines in a public place, it is “often unproductive” to confront them with the situation.

“Instead, it is often better to change your own action and take whatever steps you feel are needed to remove or distance yourself from the situation,” the province wrote in a statement.

“We would not encourage any Albertan to unintentionally put their own health and safety at risk in an attempt to correct someone else’s behaviour.”

Meanwhile, others such as a business owners or employees can adopt a cautious approach, Alberta Health suggests.

“If you are responsible for a business or activity where a certain behaviour is required, such as wearing a mask in a store, seeking to understand the reason why someone isn’t wearing a mask is a good first step, such as asking, ‘Do you have a medical condition that means you can’t wear a mask?'”

Once that has been determined, many businesses possess their own alternative guidelines customers can follow.

When it comes to enforcing Alberta’s Public Health Orders, officials say only law enforcement agencies such as the Calgary Police Service, Edmonton Police Service or RCMP have that authority.

Albertans do have an important role in situations that occur between friends and family, the province says.

“In situations when the individual is known, and not following measures, a conversational approach would be recommended. This can help individuals understand each other’s motivations and open the way for people to encourage others to change their behaviours in a non-threatening way.”

calgary, alberta health, ahs, covid-19, dr. deena

Hinshaw, along with announcing more than 1,000 new cases in her last live update, set out the goal of following all of Alberta’s guidelines quite clearly.

“Every time COVID spreads, it is a threat to our health, the health of others, and our health-care system. Every spreading event jeopardizes businesses and activities that could potentially face more intrusive measures than those we introduced last week.

“I encourage everyone to abide by all public health measures. Even if you don’t like them, even if they’re inconvenient, or even if you don’t agree with them. We must all do our part to bend the curve.”

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Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue – Chemainus Valley Courier

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The country’s top doctor is asking Canadians to limit their contacts and gatherings as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in several provinces.

In a statement released Sunday (Nov. 29), chief medical officer Dr. Theresa Tam said there has been an average of 5,335 new cases daily over the past week, compared to 4,739 daily new cases from Nov. 13-19.

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior, while the positivity rate has increased from 6.6 per cent to 7.6 per cent. The number of patients in hospital with COVID-19 has increased to 2,111 from Nov. 20 to 26, up from 1,840 the week prior. The number of ICU patients treated daily jumped from 376 to 432 over the same time period, while average daily deaths increased by five to 76.

“More and larger outbreaks are occurring in long term care homes, congregate living settings and hospitals, and spreading in Indigenous communities and more remote areas of the country,” Tam said. “These developments are deeply concerning as they put countless Canadians at risk of life-threatening illness, cause serious disruptions to health services and present significant challenges for areas not adequately equipped to manage complex medical emergencies.”

Tam said that this time period was crucial, as the weather continues to get colder across the country and gathering indoors becomes more tempting.

“Avoid or limit time spent in the 3Cs – closed spaces, crowded places and close-contact settings and situations,” she said, as well as urging people to wear masks, stay home if they are sick and wash their hands frequently.

In total, Canada has reported 370,278 confirmed cases and 12,032 deaths due to COVID-19.

B.C. recorded a record-breaking 911 cases on Friday, the last day of a week that has proven to be its deadliest of the pandemic.

READ MORE: Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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Kenney quiet on protesters after issuing COVID-19 'wake up call' to South Asian community – CTV Edmonton

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EDMONTON —
Alberta’s premier is not commenting on hundreds of protesters who gathered in defiance of COVID-19 rules Saturday.

This after Jason Kenney delivered a “wake up call” to Calgary’s South Asian community last week – in what the NDP said Sunday was “scapegoating” one group an ignoring the other.

“We see a very high level of spread of COVID-19 in the South Asian community. And I don’t say that to blame or target anyone,” Kenney said during a RedFM phone interview posted online Wednesday.

“We know that it’s a tradition to have big family gatherings at home and we think this is one of the reasons why we have seen a much higher level spread in the community than other parts of the population,” he told host Rishi Nagar, who said the high case numbers could be attributed to the fact many in the community work service jobs outside of their homes.

Kenney said he had friends in the South Asian community and referred to a “strong, strong sense of family and hospitality” as “beautiful” – but asked that provincial restrictions be respected.

“I’m calling your program with a wake up call. We must, must have people understand the new law is no social functions at home,” Kenney said.

Backlash on social media was swift. 

PREMIER MUM ON PROTESTERS

On Saturday, hundreds of Albertans gathered in Edmonton, Calgary and Red Deer in defiance of a ban on outdoor gatherings of more than 10 people.

It appeared that no tickets were handed out during those gatherings – and Kenney did not tweet or provide a statement about the protests.

“Jason Kenney and the UCP did not condemn anti-mask rally in Calgary. They did not enforce 10 people gathering restriction enforceable with a $1,000 fine. And, now this premier has the audacity to scapegoat and give ‘wake up call’ to Northeast communities,” NDP MLA Irfan Sabir said in a Sunday evening tweet.

Last week, the premier said he was concerned about a “backlash” from rural Albertans if he made masking requirements province-wide.

A spokesperson for Kenney did not answer specific questions about this story Sunday night, but referred CTV News Edmonton to an earlier statement from Alberta Justice.

“Municipal law enforcement, like the Calgary Police Service, operate independently of the Minister of Justice,” said Blaise Boehmer, press secretary for Alberta Justice.

“The provincial government respects the operational enforcement decision-making of Calgary Police Service, while balancing the Charter right to free expression and assembly.”

A full list of COVID19 restrictions can be found online. 

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COVID-19: 1,708 new cases in Ontario – Simcoe Reformer

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Ottawa Public Health reported 79 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Sunday and two new deaths, bringing the city’s totals to 8,458 and 374, respectively, since January.

A total of 343 cases, according to Sunday’s figures, remain active. Meanwhile, 22 people were being treated for COVID-19 in Ottawa hospitals, one of them in intensive care.

Twenty-one health-care institutions are currently experiencing outbreaks, as are three child-care or educational centres. There are also four active community outbreaks, an increase of one from the previous day’s report.

Ontario

Ontario reported 1,708 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Sunday, more than 100 fewer than the 1,822 from a day earlier, and almost 150 fewer than the daily record of 1,855 set on Friday.

The new cases, which include those reported through Saturday afternoon, bring the total in the province to 114,746 since January.

Peel and Toronto remained the worst-hit areas, with 503 and 463 confirmed new cases, respectively.

The province also reported 24 new COVID-19 deaths, bringing Ontario’s total to 3,648 since January.

In addition to the 79 new cases in Ottawa, 24 new cases were reported elsewhere in Eastern Ontario, including 10 by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, and five each through Hastings Prince Edward Public Health and Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington Public Health. The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit reported four new cases, while the Renfrew County and District Health Unit reported no new cases.

The province also reported 586 Ontarians hospitalized with COVID-19, but added that the number may be skewed low by the fact that approximately 40 hospitals did not complete the Daily Bed Census on Friday.

Quebec

Quebec on Sunday reported 1,395 new COVID-19 cases and four new deaths, bringing the province’s total to 141,038 cases and 7,025 deaths since January.

COVID-19 hospitalizations reduced slightly from Saturday’s report, with 665 Quebecers being treated for the pandemic illness. Of those, 92 are in intensive care.

Meanwhile, the Outaouais reported 30 new cases and no new deaths.

The region has reported 3,554 cases and 80 deaths since the pandemic began.

COVID-19 BY THE NUMBERS

Ottawa

79: New cases
8,458: Total cases
2: New deaths
374: Total deaths
343: Active cases
22: Hospitalized
1: In ICU
7,741: Cases resolved

Ontario

1,708: New cases
114,746: Total cases
24: New deaths
3,648: Total deaths
586: Hospitalized
97,319: Cases resolved

(As of Nov. 28)

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