(Black Press file)

Majority of Albertans support ‘circuit breaker lockdown’ to curb COVID-19 cases: poll

New measures expected Tuesday afternoon

A majority of Albertans believe COVID-19 measures that came into effect mid-November fall short to curb the rising active cases.

Just over one-half (51 per cent) of Albertans believe new COVID-19 restrictions instituted on Nov. 12 do not go far enough overall, compared to 13 per cent who believe they “go too far” and 29 per cent who feel they are “about right,” according to a recent poll by ThinkHQ Public Affairs Inc.

This sentiment is strongest in the province’s largest cities (particularly Edmonton), is slightly higher among women than men, and tends to increase with education levels.

Those with children at home and those with household incomes under $50,000 are somewhat less likely to believe these restrictions don’t go far enough.

There is a huge partisan divide on this issue. Those who voted NDP in the last provincial election overwhelmingly maintain the Nov. 12 rules are insufficient (81 per cent), while Conservative voters are more divided on the issue: 39 per cent feel they are “about right,” while 36 per cent believe they “not far enough” and 19 per cent believe they go “too far.”

Limiting private indoor gatherings to a maximum of 15 people and funeral/wedding attendees to no more than 50 persons however is too lenient for many – 47 per cent and 55 per cent respectively say these restrictions “don’t go far enough,” according to findings fro the ThinkHQ poll.

In light of growing infection, hospitalization and death rates in recent days, there is a segment of public health experts calling for a so-called “circuit breaker lockdown”, similar to the stay at home orders imposed across the country in the spring. This measure of last resort is surprisingly popular; over six-in-ten (61 per cent) Albertans say they would approve of a lock-down of all non-essential businesses in the province for between 14 to 28 days (compared to 31 per cent opposed).

Albertans offer mixed feelings on the recent restaurant and bar curfews on both hours and liquor sales in the regions that are on province’s enhanced list. Over four-in-ten (44 per cent) say that closing by 11:00 p.m./liquor cut-off by 10:00 p.m. doesn’t “go far enough,” while 16 per cent feel it goes “too far.”

Premier Jason Kenney, the chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the chief medical officer of health, Tyler Shandro, minister of health are expected to announce new measures Tuesday afternoon.


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