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Alberta to draft list of essential services as COVID-19 cases rise

Last Updated Mar 26, 2020 at 9:48 am MDT

A shot of the Alberta legislature building in Edmonton. (CREDIT: iStock)

EDMONTON (660 NEWS) – As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Alberta the province says it is working “diligently” on a list of essential services.

“The overwhelming majority of Albertans have been very responsible and civic-minded in responding to this crisis,” said Premier Jason Kenney. “Most of us understand that we all have a role to play in limiting the spread of the disease.”

Earlier this week Ontario and Quebec ordered all non-essential workplaces be closed to help contain the spread of the coronavirus.

RELATED: Ontario premier announces shutdown of non-essential services

While Kenney didn’t say releasing the list would prompt a shutdown in this province, he also didn’t rule it out.

“There’s also ongoing work on designing critical infrastructure and essential services and we’ll have more news on that front later this week.”

Kenney adds Alberta’s list would be more expansive than other provinces as it will likely include oilsands and energy sector workers.

Services like health care, police, fire and EMS are expected to be on the list which Kenney said could be out as early as next week.

“That would include staff at homeless shelters, police officers, correctional officers and people in other essential services.”

Ontario and Quebec have released their list of essential businesses which include grocery and liquor stores, telecommunication companies and food delivery services on top of health care and emergency front line workers.

WATCH: What is on Ontario’s list of essential services?

On Thursday, Alberta reported 61 new cases of COVID-19 bringing the provincial total to 419.

It’s believed 33 of those cases have come from community spread.