Premier Jason Kenney is cautioning Albertans that this summer won’t be business as usual for events and festivals.
The premier, in an hour-long Facebook live video, addressed the summer plans along with a number of other issues.
Kenney had said earlier this year that he hoped to give those planning summer festivals guidance about how to move forward by the end of February.
“They have to sign contracts, they have to plan ahead. I am not sure we will be able to give absolute, definitive guidance to large summer events by the end of February,” he said.
Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said her team is working on what percentage of the population will be vaccinated over the next six months, in order to better inform the decision on summer events.
“What we have learned from last summer and from our most recent experience about the ability to have to safe gatherings. We’re looking at all of that because we understand certainty is required for planning purposes,” she said.
She said they hope to have a plan they can bring to the COVID-19 cabinet committee for consideration by the end of the month, but cautioned this summer will not be a return to what life looked like two summers ago.
“We still will need to have some kinds of restrictions. We don’t anticipate that we will have herd immunity with respect to the portion of people in the overall population vaccinated by that time. We do expect that we will be able to allow some activities to continue,” she added.
Kenney also tried to dispel notions that COVID-19 is a conspiracy theory. In a lengthy response to a question about whether he is involved with the “Great Reset” and working with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to keep the economy shut down, Kenney said that’s simply not true.
He explained that hospitalizations were going from 100 to 950 between the end of October and December, driven by a doubling of COVID-19 cases every 14 days which powered the government’s response to the pandemic over the recent weeks.
“If you’re doubling every 14 days, that would have quickly become 5,000 a day and 5,000 becomes 10,000 a day. That is not a conspiracy. That is not politics, that is not a preference, that is not fake news. It is cold, hard numbers,” he said.