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Alberta not bringing in new COVID-19 restrictions just yet

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw providing an update from Edmonton on June 17, 2020, on COVID-19 and the ongoing work to protect public health. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta) (Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)

EDMONTON (660 NEWS) — Even though Alberta reported a second record-high case count of 1,155 on Friday, Alberta is not introducing new restrictions.

Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw says they are waiting to see if the new measures announced a week ago are having an impact before making a final decision.

“It typically takes about a week for us to start to see the impact of restrictions,” she said.

“Given that the new restrictions went into place last Friday, we would expect to start to see the impact of those over the weekend.”

“Our current case numbers remain extremely concerning, as the number of cases in hospital and ICU is also very concerning, and so we’re watching those very closely and preparing the recommendations to bring forward to our elected decision makers.”

No final decision has been made yet and Hinshaw said they are watching the situation closely and considering what needs to be done if numbers don’t start to decline.

New health restrictions came into effect on Friday, which included banning group sports and ending alcohol sales by 10 p.m. and closing by 11 p.m.

On Friday, a government source confirmed to 660 NEWS that Alberta was facing pressure to introduce new health measures as COVID-19 numbers continue to rise.

An announcement on this could be made as early as next week.

Across the nation, provinces have introduced a mask mandate except for Alberta.

Hinshaw said discussions are ongoing.

“A decision has not been made about whether or not a mask mandate would be apart of any additional measures in the province,” Hinshaw said.

“We are watching neighbouring provinces and looking very closely at the evidence so that we can consider options based on the evidence of effectiveness as well as the context in Alberta.”