Nov. 24 COVID update: new restrictions

Updated Nov. 26 (the mandatory masks in places of enhanced worship was missed in the original publication. It has been updated to read “Places of worship 1/3 of normal attendance with mandatory masking.”)

Pearl Lorentzen

Lakeside Leader

As of Nov. 24, Alberta has implemented bold and targeted health measures, said Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, in a Nov. 24 media conference. The restrictions are in place now, so that the government has a chance to review them before Christmas. If these measures don’t have a dramatic impact, there will be more restrictions.

All indoor social events are now illegal, but very few business are required to close. Some at-home learning starting Nov. 30 was also announced. (Full list under New Restrictions below)

Nearby cases

Nearby, Lesser Slave, the M.D. of Opportunity, Westlock County, and Athabasca County were all enhanced. As of Nov. 24, Lesser Slave River and neighbours active cases were:

  • M.D. of Lesser Slave River* (11)
  • M.D. of Opportunity* (12)
  • Westlock County* (15) – one school outbreak (two to four cases)
  • Athabasca County* (15)
  • Whitecourt (eight) – one school outbreak (two to four cases)
  • Woodlands County (zero)
  • Northern Sunrise County (one)
  • Big Lakes County (two).

*means enhanced (purple)

The M.D. of Lesser Slave River COVID cases could be in the M.D., Town of Slave Lake, Sawridge First Nation, Assineau, Canyon Creek, Widewater, Wagner, Marten Beach, Smith, Hondo, Flatbush, or Fawcett Lake. This is because COVID cases in communities with populations under 10,000 are included in the M.D. or county.

New restrictions:

All of Alberta

  1. No indoor social gatherings in any setting
  2. Outdoor gatherings max of 10 people
  3. weddings and funeral services max of 10, no receptions permitted
  4. No festival or events
  5. Grade 7 to 12 at-home learning Nov. 30 to Jan. 11
  6. Grade K to 6 at home learning Dec. 18 – Jan. 11 (Christmas break + one week at of at-home learning in January)
  7. Working from home should be considered, where possible

Enhanced (purple)

These apply in the M.D. of Lesser Slave River, M.D. of Opportunity, Westlock County, and Athabasca County, among some other AHS North Zone regions.

  1. Places of worship 1/3 of normal attendance with mandatory masking.
  2. Restricted access to some businesses and services starting Nov. 27 – some business will be
    • Closed for in-person services
    • Open with restriction
    • Open with 25 per cent capacity under fire code
    • Open by appointment only – no walk-ins and only one-on-one service
Closed for in-person services
  • banquet halls, conference centres, trade shows, auditoria and concert venues, non-approved/licensed markets, community centres
  • children’s play places and indoor playgrounds
  • all level of sport (professional, semi-professional, junior, collegiate/universities and amateur). Exemption may be considered.  
Open with restrictions
  • Restaurants, bars, pubs, and lounges
    • maximum of six people from the same household at a table – people cannot move between tables. 
      • People who live alone can dine with up to two non-household contacts as long as they’re the same two through the duration of the restrictions. 
    • Only eating and drinking is permitted. No other services or entertainment will be allowed, including billiards, games, and darts.
    • Liquor can be sold until 10 p.m. and close at 11 p.m.
Open with 25 per cent capacity under fire code
  • Most retail
    • retail, including liquor and cannabis
    • grocery stores
    • pharmacies
    • clothing stores
    • computer and technology stores
    • hardware
    • automotive
    • approved/licensed farmers markets and outdoor seasonal markets
  • Some entertainment & event services
    • movie theatres 
    • museums
    • libraries
    • casinos (slots only). Table games must be closed.
    • amusement parks, water parks, bingo halls, and racing centres
    • indoor fitness, recreation, sports and physical activity centres: including dance and yoga studios, martial arts, gymnastics and swimming pools
      • individual studio time
      • no group fitness, group classes, group training, team practices, or games
      • instructors can use facility to broadcast virtual fitness classes
Open by appointment only – no walk-ins and only one-on-one service
  • personal services – including hair salons, barbershops, aesthetics, manicure, pedicure, body waxing and make-up, piercing and tattoo
  • wellness including acupuncture, massage and reflexology
  • professional services such as lawyers, mediators, accountants and photographers
  • Private one-on-one lessons (no private group lessons permitted)
  • hotels, motels, hunting and fishing lodges

Calgary and Edmonton and surrounding areas

  1. Mandatory masks for indoor workplaces

Enhanced regions measures: (announced earlier)

  • No social gatherings inside your home or outside of your community. Instead, socialize outdoors or in structured settings, like restaurants or other business that are subject to legal limits and take steps to prevent transmission.
  • 15-person limit on social and family gatherings – indoors and outdoors – where people are mixing and mingling.
  • Limit of three cohorts: your core household, your school, and one other sport or social cohort. Young children who attend child care can be part of four cohorts.
  • Wear a mask in all indoor work settings, except when alone in a workspace or an appropriate barrier is in place.
  • Employers in office settings to implement strategies to reduce the number of employees in the workplace at one time.
  • Restaurants, bars, lounges and pubs must stop liquor sales by 10 p.m. and close by 11 p.m. (Nov 13-27).
  • 50-person limit on wedding ceremonies and funeral services.
  • Faith-based gatherings limited to 1/3 capacity at one time.

All previous health measures also apply.

Unless the situation changes drastically, the next COVID-19 update will be Friday, Nov. 27.

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