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Alberta declares public health emergency

Grocery stores, shopping centres, health-care facilities, airports, soup kitchens, the legislature and other essential services are not included.
COVID-19

On Tuesday afternoon, Premier Jason Kenney declared a state of public emergency because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Government of Alberta has limiting gatherings of 50 people or more. Albertans are prohibited from visiting casinos, nightclubs and bars, recreation centres, and fitness facilities. Weddings and funerals with more than 50 people must also scale down. Grocery stores, shopping centres, health-care facilities, airports, the Alberta Legislature and other essential services are not included.

“This is a case of us being well-prepared (for) what is coming at us,”Kenney said.

To limit the amount of time Albertans are spending in large crowds and crowded spaces, all Albertans are prohibited from attending public recreational facilities and private entertainment facilities, including gyms, swimming pools, arenas, science centres, museums, art galleries, community centres, children’s play centres, casinos, racing entertainment centres and bingo halls.

Sit-down restaurants, cafés, coffee shops, food courts and other food-serving facilities, including those with a minors-allowed liquor licence, are limited to 50 per cent capacity to a maximum of 50 people. Take-out, delivery or drive-through service is permitted. Licenced facilities will also be permitted to deliver liquor to help boost their ability to generate income.

At this time, not-for-profit community kitchens, soup kitchens and religious kitchens are exempt, but sanitization practices are expected to be in place and support will be in place for this practice. Community kitchens and soup kitchens will be exempt from the 50-person cap.

COVID-19 UPDATE: Follow our COVID-19 special section for the latest local and national news on the coronavirus pandemic, as well as resources, FAQs and more.

Until further notice, all Albertans are restricted from attending bars and nightclubs where minors are prohibited.

Offices with more than 50 people can stay open as long as they are not congregating in one meeting room.

"We can't shut down the entire economy," Kenney said, adding government workers can still come to work but he is encouraging employees to work from home when possible.

Municipalities, charitable and non-profit organizations providing social services support will immediately see $60 million to support their COVID-19 response. The funding will be provided to adult homeless shelters, women’s emergency shelters and the Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) program, which supports municipalities and civil society organizations in providing services to vulnerable Albertans.




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Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

About the Author: Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Jennifer Henderson is the Local Journalism Initiative reporter for Great West Newspapers based in St. Albert, Alta.
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