Premier Jason Kenney and the Alberta government have considered a more regional approach to COVID-19 restrictions.
In a news conference Thursday, Kenney was asked if his government would consider using regional COVID-19 restrictions as cases continue to climb.
The premier said it’s a possibility, but with the movement of people from one region to another in the province, they aren’t likely to be as effective as the measures in place now.
“We have looked very closely at applying restrictions or accelerating easing of restrictions on a regional basis,” Kenney said.
“We acknowledge that at some points throughout the pandemic we have seen some regions with very low or no Covid cases and significant spikes in other zones. The challenge has been, that of course the virus moves very quickly and people move as well and the virus moves with them.
“We don’t want to end up in a situation where we hermetically seal Albertans into their own local area, not permitting travel. That would be pretty extreme…At the end of the day, we have to look at how fast the virus is moving in certain populations and in certain communities. That’s what has informed our policy approach.”
Alberta is currently in Step 1 of its Path Forward reopening plan, which includes province-wide COVID-19 public health measures.
Kenney added his government is putting together a caucus working group to work with the Alberta’s chief medical officer of health to look at the possibility of regional COVID-19 restrictions.
“We have looked at this from many different angles about how we can come up with a sensible, regional framework that does not create public confusion and which recognizes regional differences. Quite frankly, right now, this surge is happening pretty much everywhere,” Kenney said.
“One of the problems with the regional approach in the past is arguably, that the health zones… are kind of too large themselves to reflect real local differences… we’ve looked at different ways of carving up the map to come up with sensible regional boundaries and right now, not a single region in the province would qualify for less stringent covid restrictions.”