Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced stronger COVID-19 regulations, which place province-wide and regional hotspot restrictions, to help “stop the spike” as cases continue to climb across the province on Tuesday, May 4.
Last week, Alberta reported the highest number of cases per capita in North America, and the province exceeded more than 25,000 active cases for the first time since the start of the pandemic as of Sunday, May 9.
“We must act to bend the curve down one last time,” Premier Kenney said during a recap on the new restrictions on Wednesday, May 5.
Regional restrictions are in effect in COVID hotspots, which have more than 50 cases per 100,000 population and at least 30 active cases.
As of Monday, May 10 the Town of Drumheller and neighbouring Starland County are not classed a COVID hotspots and are not affected by enhanced restrictions.
However, neighbouring municipalities Kneehill County and Wheatland County are both under enhanced restrictions, which include reduced attendance at funeral and church services. Personal and wellness services, such as hair salons, aesthetics, and tattoos, were also asked to close in high case areas, though these services are permitted to remain open by appointment only in areas with lower case numbers.
Schools across the province have returned to online learning, affecting Kindergarten to post-secondary students. Restaurants, cafes, and bars throughout the province have also returned to take-out and delivery only as restrictions prohibit indoor and outdoor patio dining.
During the restrictions recap, Premier Kenney also announced an additional 1.3 million Albertans would be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as the age of eligibility was reduced to those 12 years of age and older. The announcement came the same day Health Canada approved the Pfizer vaccine for children 12 years and older, making Canada the first country to approve the vaccine for anyone younger than 16.
“If we receive the supply we’ve been promised, we expect to complete this entire phase (of vaccine rollout) by the end of June,” Premier Kenney said.
As of Monday, May 10 there are 26 active cases and 428 recovered cases in the Town of Drumheller, including 181 recovered cases at the Drumheller Institution.
There is one active case in Starland County, 32 in Wheatland County, and 55 in Kneehill County.