Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, provides an update, in Edmonton on March 30. The province did not confirm whether some Alberta businsses can open Thurday. That decision is expected to come Wednesday. (Photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)

Whether some Alberta businesses can open Thursday will be known Wednesday

It isn’t known whether some Alberta businesses will be allowed to open Thursday.

That decision is expected Wednesday.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health, said Tuesday afternoon, the emergency management cabinet committee was to meet later Tuesday to determine whether phase one of the provincial relaunch strategy will move forward on Thursday.

Hinshaw said the province wants to make sure the most up-to-date data is available on trends before giving the relaunch strategy the green light.

“I ask businesses and patrons of businesses to be patient,” she said.

“As soon as that decision is made, that announcement will happen tomorrow (Wednesday) so people know what the outcome was of that decision,” she explained.

Night clubs will not be considered in the province’s early relaunch strategy. Albertans can expect to see restaurants, hair salons, barbers, places of worship and retail businesses to open in stage one of relaunch.

Hinshaw said Albertans looking to go to restaurants will have to be at least two metres apart from anyone outside of their household or cohort.

Alberta declared 45 COVID-19 cases Tuesday, bringing the total cases at 6,345.

Of the total cases, 1,361 cases are active in the province.

Officials confirmed one additional virus death Tuesday, bringing the death total to 118.

Central zone confirmed case number is at 98 with 15 active cases and 82 recovered. There has been one death reported in the local zone (in the City of Camrose).

The City of Red Deer has 37 cases: three active, 34 recovered as of Tuesday.

Red Deer County has 16 cases: four active and 12 recovered.

The City of Lacombe is at two recovered cases.

County of Lacombe is at three recovered cases, while Clearwater County is at two recovered cases.

County of Stettler has three recovered cases and Ponoka County has three cases: two recovered and one active.

The meeting later Tuesday would discuss key components of reopening such as the risks and benefits of taking a regional approach to relaunch.

“Certainly if we take a regional approach there’s the risk we could further spread transmission, if people from an area that’s closed travel outside that area to get services elsewhere, but there’s also the risk of spread with opening things up, so that’s the kind of discussion that needs to happen,” Hinshaw explained.

The chief medical officer of health said there’s no one perfect way to do the relaunch.

“What we need to do is balance the needs of all Albertans, the safety of all Albertans being paramount and looking at all the options.”

Whether it’s malls or other retail business, Hinshaw said the province expects they follow Alberta’s guidelines such as enhanced cleaning.

“So the expectation, whether someone is a mall operator or a retail store operator, is that they look through the guidance and then consider how that guidance can be applied in that setting to make sure that risk of exposure is limited,” explained Hinshaw.

Businesses can find provincial guidelines on alberta.ca/biz-connect.

Once relaunch starts, the province will be watching “very, very closely,” to monitor any uptick in cases and consider whether any further measures are needed to control spread, Hinshaw said.

Seventy-three people are in hospitals across the province including 12 in intensive care.

Recovered cases in the province was at 4,866 Tuesday afternoon.



mamta.lulla@reddeeradvocate.com

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