Loading articles...

Questions around reopening plan as COVID-19 cases continue to surge

CALGARY (CityNews) — On the first day of Easter long weekend, the province recorded its highest daily case count in months.

The Government of Alberta had said that they would wait three weeks between relaxing restrictions – but when it came to Phase 2, the province eased the rules after just one week.

“Opening up in an environment where you have a new pandemic coming in, that is growing exponentially, is just very short-sighted.”

Jens von Bergmann is a data analyst and the founder of Vancouver-based MountainMath.

“It was clear how exponential growth works, that you start with a few variants and they grow at a much faster rate than the regular [strain of] COVID-19.

“It looks to me like governments generally looked only at overall case numbers, which is really the wrong metric here — we have two pandemics.”

Terming variants as the new and more dangerous pandemic, experts say provincial governments across Canada, including Alberta, underestimated the effects of the variants.

In contrast, on Thursday Premier Jason Kenney blamed his province’s plunge into the third wave on those who continue to socialize.

“Our contact tracing data confirms clearly that these kinds of activities at home, indoor socializing, are by far the most responsible for spreading COVID-19.”

The Alberta Premier has said that in the race between vaccines and variants, the variants are winning.

However, medical researchers such as von Bergmann say it’s too early to expect results from immunizations.

“We are not vaccinated enough yet to really let go. It’s going to be a rough ride and we will probably have to implement, in the short term, stronger restrictions than we have seen to keep those numbers under control.”

Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw has said that the surge of infections is not related to the easing of restrictions and that comparisons to case growth in other provinces suggest that Alberta would have seen a surge in COVID-19 cases regardless of relaxing the rules.