EDMONTON – Alberta could be delaying its controversial decision to stop multiple public health measures centred on COVID-19 such as testing and mandatory isolation.
This comes as Alberta has been seeing the highest daily case counts since late May.
On Wednesday, Alberta saw 501 new cases, with another 550 new cases announced Thursday.
Most cases being reported this week are variant cases.
There are over 4,100 active cases in the province right now.
NDP Health Critic David Shepherd believes the government will be extending those measures for at least another six weeks.
“A number of sources that we have spoken have confirmed that this was decided at a cabinet meeting earlier [Thursday],” he explained.
Shepherd says the province is admitting it made the wrong call with the move to cut all COVID interventions.
“Testing, tracing, isolation–those are the most basic health measures. Jason Kenney was ready to destroy those protections for his own political gain,” he said.
“The fact that they are indeed extending these predictions out for another six weeks is, in fact, an admission that they were moving too fast, that they had failed to prepare, that they were more interested in pursuing a potential political gain than they were in showing good governance and leadership.”
The plan to remove remaining measures, which was announced at the end of July, has drawn wide criticism from Alberta’s medical community.
Doctors have expressed concern and angry Albertans have protested for several days in Edmonton and Calgary.
While Dr. Deena Hinshaw, health Minister Tyler Shandro, and Premier Jason Kenney have all maintained their plan was based on data, Canada’s federal health minister had doubts, going as far as to ask for the “science” on which the decision was based.
Hinshaw has an announcement around back to school planned for Friday morning, where the extension of COVID-19 measures could possibly be announced.
We will have a live stream of the event on our website and Facebook page at 9:30 a.m.