CALGARY – An ER doctor in Calgary says the province’s relaunch plan is too aggressive and is moving too fast.
He says more time is needed between stages to look at the impacts.
Alberta’s new relaunch plan will move into stage two with fewer restrictions once 60 per cent of people get at least one dose of the vaccine.
Stage three, which would see the rest of the remaining restrictions lifted, is slated to go ahead when 70 per cent of Albertans have at least one shot.
Emergency doctor Joe Vipond says the timeline is too condensed.
- Mayor Iveson calling out Kenney and UCP government following province’s reopening plan
- Alberta records 513 new COVID-19 cases, nearly 60% of Albertans aged 12 and over now partially vaccinated
- Half of all Canadians have had one COVID-19 shot; full reopening still months off
“[We need more time] to think about what we can do to mitigate risk and we know that other jurisdictions in Canada have had a much more cautious approach to reopening,” he said.
He says instead of two weeks between stages, there should be three weeks.
He says there are three reasons why the COVID-19 numbers are dropping right now, not just because people are lining up to get jabbed.
“Schools have been closed for a long period of time, they’re dropping because of restrictions, and they’re dropping because of vaccines,” he said.
“And my sense is the government is just presuming that most of this drop is vaccine-related only.”
Vipond also mentions his concerns over variants, saying the vaccines protect well against the original strain, but they’re not as effective with the variants.
Vipond isn’t the only Albertan concerned over the speedy reopening plan.
On Thursday, Alberta’s former top doctor also said the plan moves too fast and that reopening before we’re ready can turn major events like the Stampede into super-spreaders.
- Stampede won’t look the same, but will be COVID-19 safe: Nenshi
- Stampede can go ahead safely if people attending are vaccinated, says epidemiologist
- Chucks cancelled, evening show ‘reimagined’ due to COVID-19, says Stampede
Edmonton’s mayor also echoed some of these concerns, adding he’d be basing Edmonton’s reopening on medical guidance, not “festival enthusiasm.”
-with files from Craig Lester, Darcy Ropchan, CityNews Edmonton