Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson convened a special city council meeting Tuesday morning where city councils and health officials discussed possible measures the city could take to slow the spread of COVID-19 amid the increasing growth in the city and throughout the province.
Interim city administrator Adam Laughlin presented what is known as « grim COVID-19 data for the Edmonton area, » which is « alarming and unacceptable ». ”
« The virus has not stopped spreading, » said Laughlin. “The data trends are alarming. ”
Alberta recorded on Monday 1. 735 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the number of active cases in the province over 20. 000 on 20. 067 rose. There are 9 of them. 190 active cases in the Edmonton Zone. The actual city of Edmonton has an active fall rate of 727. 8 per 100. 000 inhabitants.
Despite additional restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the virus that launched in Alberta nearly two weeks ago, the provincial health chief said Monday, « They weren’t enough to bend the curve enough. ”
Dr. . Deena Hinshaw said Monday she and her team are preparing a package of recommendations to be presented to the cabinet for consideration of new restrictions.
Premier Jason Kenney is expected to join Dr. . Deena Hinshaw and other provincial officials on Tuesday afternoon.
Iveson said he had called the special council meeting to discuss what the city could do with statutes or under city government law if the province did not impose stricter restrictions.
Laughlin said the government is not currently recommending a local state of emergency. However, he said they are currently working on a « pandemic restriction statute » that would recommend closing bars, pubs and restaurants for personal eating. Takeaway and roadside pickup could continue, Laughlin said.
The statutes would recommend the closure of casinos and indoor entertainment, leisure, sports and fitness facilities, including urban leisure centers. The statute would also recommend further capacity restrictions for places of worship.
Iveson said he remains confident the province will take additional action, but the council will meet again on Thursday afternoon to discuss the city’s proposed pandemic restriction.
A motion was unanimously approved on Tuesday that the mayor would write to other community leaders in the Edmonton metropolitan area to inform them of the Edmonton proposed statute and, where possible, to call for a regional approach.
Iveson will also work with the City of Calgary to write to the provincial government calling on the agency to address rising COVID cases in the two cities, while allowing businesses to claim the federal support available.
« The situation is dire and urgent action is needed. The city is ready to act this week if necessary, ”said the mayor.
Members of the Edmonton Zone Medical Staff Association’s Strategic COVID-19 Pandemic Committee presented at the council meeting.
The group founded last month represents around 1. 700 doctors and medical professionals. Members of the committee oversee public health, the health system and government response in Alberta, research and recommend medical advice, and provide public information and medical advice to Albertans.
Dr. . Noel Gibney, co-chair of the committee, spoke about the trends in Alberta which he believes have led to an « exponential » spread of COVID-19 in recent weeks.
« The latest moves to get things under control are clearly not working, » Gibney said.
Dr. . James Talbot, former chief medical officer for health in Alberta and co-chair of the committee, said delays in taking effective action could lead to a worse, longer infection peak.
Talbot said a backlog in contract tracking made it difficult to find the right location for the infection. Because of this, the committee said a breakdown approach for circuit breakers would be more effective at slowing the spread of COVID-19 than targeted measures.
« We recommend a circuit breaker to bend the curve down, » said Talbot on behalf of the committee. “If the circuit breaker works, we can relieve the health system and, for example, restore contact tracing. ”
Not only would this lower the number of cases, but it would also allow contact tracers to catch up and start aggressive contact tracing again, the committee said.
To turn the corner, the committee said Alberta needs to get its R-value below zero. 8 and reduce infection rates to 300 cases per day or less. To this end, the committee proposed locking down venues such as casinos, bars, restaurants, gyms, sports centers and religious meetings.
The committee also advocated strict enforcement of masks across the province as well as the number of people in stores, indoor spaces, and malls. Maximizing work from home is another action recommended by the committee.
The committee acknowledged that public fatigue is high, but also looked at promising news on the coronavirus vaccine, which could be launched in Canada as early as next week, pending approval.
“We have sacrificed so much. You lost your job, you lost your business … you lost your grandparents, ”Talbot said.
« This won’t take forever. There is hope on the horizon. People will do things when they have hope. ”
Edmonton, Don Iveson, Lockdown, Alberta
World News – CA – Edmonton’s COVID-19 Committee Recommends Locking Out Circuit Breakers As Cases Rise And Hospital Admissions
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