Some Alberta businesses, including restaurants, hair salons and retail stores, will be able to open Thursday. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Some Alberta businesses can open Thursday, gov’t announces

Provincial gov’t proceeding with Stage 1 of relaunch strategy

Some Alberta businesses will be allowed to reopen Thursday.

Premier Jason Kenney and Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, announced the provincial government will move forward with Stage 1 of the provincial relaunch strategy.

Albertans can expect restaurants, hair salons, barbers, places of worship and retail businesses to open in the relaunch’s first stage.

“I know that for some folks, this will feel like we’re moving too fast, and for others, like we’re moving too slowly,” said Kenney.

“That’s why I want to assure all Albertans, that at every single step, these decisions are being informed and guided by data and by the best scientific and public health advice available.”

The announcement was made at the provincial government’s daily update press conference Wednesday afternoon.

Provincially, 62 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed Wednesday, bringing the total to 6,345. Of these cases, 1,361 are active, 4,866 have recovered and 118 people have died.

The City of Red Deer is back to two active cases of COVID-19, according to geospatial mapping on the provincial government’s website. Thirty-five of the city’s 37 cases have now recovered.

Red Deer County has four active and 12 recovered cases.

The City of Lacombe still has two recovered cases and Lacombe County has three recovered cases. Ponoka County has one active and two recovered cases, Stettler County and Clearwater County both have two recovered cases, and Mountain View County has one active and six recovered cases.

Currently, 70 people in Alberta are hospitalized with COVID-19 – 13 of those individuals have been admitted into intensive care units.

If cases and hospitalization numbers spike, the government could reintroduce either regional or provincewide restrictions, Kenney said.

“On the other hand, if we manage Stage 1 reopening successfully, we’ll be able to move sooner into stages 2 and 3 of our relaunch than would otherwise be the case, which would be vital to the future of thousands of businesses and our overall economy,” he said.

Unlike the rest of the province, Calgary and Brooks will enter the first stage of relaunch in a phased approach, due to how many cases are located in those areas.

Each stage will be evaluated and monitored to determine if restrictions need to be adjusted, Kenney added.

“We’ll closely watch hospitalizations and ICU rates in particular.”

The Alberta Federation of Labour has urged the provincial government to delay the staged reopening of the economy by at least one month.

Before the government’s announcement Wednesday, public and private-sector union presidents voted to send a letter to the premier and Labour Minister Jason Copping saying that more needs to be done to guarantee the safety of workers and patrons in Alberta workplaces.

The government’s “guidance for employers on the subject of reopening the economy is weak, vague and often unclear,” said AFL president Gil McGowan.

“That’s why we’re calling for a one-month delay in the staged reopening of our provincial economy. We need to use that time to develop and implement enforceable measures that will keep working Albertans safe as they return to their jobs.”



Send your news tips

Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

robbery
UPDATE: Shooting suspect arrested by Wetaskiwin/Camrose RCMP

Rimbey RCMP had responded to a complaint of an armed robbery at the Bluffton City General Store

Quality Inn & Suites in Rimbey. Photo Submitted
Rimbey hotel gets new lease on life

The Quality Inn & Suites in Rimbey is now open and taking bookings

Leanne Evans, Rimbey Neighbourhood Place Program Coordinator, accepts a donation of $5,000 from Kevin Maxwell manager of Field Support for Telus. (Photo Submitted)
Rimbey Neighbourhood Place making big changes behind the scenes

Rimbey Neighbourhood Place recently recieved a $5,000 donation from Telus

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw updates media on the Covid-19 situation in Edmonton on Friday March 20, 2020. nbsp;Alberta is reporting it's highest daily number of COVID-19 cases, with 364 new infections. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta confirmed 323 COVID-19 cases Tuesday

Central zone active cases at 145

Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the chief medical officer of health, receive flu shot. Photo via Government of Alberta
COVID-19: One more death in central zone

Ponoka County on province’s watchlist

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives for an announcement at a news conference in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020.	Kenney is isolating at home after one of his ministers tested positive for COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Alberta premier isolating after minister tests positive for COVID-19

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is isolating at home

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Alberta's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Monday, July 6, 2020. Advisers are reportedly recommending Alberta's kindergarten to Grade 4 arts and social studies curriculum remove all references to residential schools because it's "too sad" for young children. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Advisers suggest Alberta students not learn about residential schools before Grade 4

Documents suggest children younger than Grade 4 are too emotionally vulnerable to learn about residential schools

File photo
RCMP’s response to online discussions about anti-racism demonstrations

Ponoka RCMP Staff Sgt.’s comments misattributed online

Shaelynn Decock and her dog Taco, who has been missing since Aug. 26. Photo Submitted
Sylvan Lake woman looking for closure for her stolen dog

Shaelynn Decock says it has been two months since she last saw her dog Taco

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a news conference Tuesday October 20, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau and his family decide against trick-or-treating this year due to COVID

Adhering to local health authorities, Trudeau urges Canadians to do their part in following those guidelines

Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday February 4, 2020 in Ottawa. The Alberta government is welcoming news that Ottawa has approved an expansion of the Nova Gas Transmission Ltd. gathering system in Alberta — while condemning federal delays that it says cost this summer’s construction season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Alberta welcomes federal approval of gas pipeline expansion while criticizing delay

The project is expected to create up to 2,920 direct jobs during construction, the federal release said

Most Read