Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced that effective immediately, all child care centres will be closed, classes at public schools and post-secondary classes will be cancelled until further notice.
Some approved home cares are exempt.
Alberta is also increasing Health Budget by $500 million to combat COVID-19.
17 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Alberta today, bringing the province’s total of cases to 56. Dr. Deena Hinshaw said that the decision to close schools was made because there was evidence of community spread of COVID-19 in Alberta. Health officials do not know the origin of some of the new coronavirus cases and seven of the new cases were spread from a single gathering in Calgary.
- Student attendance at schools is prohibited.
- Post-secondary classes are cancelled. Campuses will remain open.
- All licensed child care facilities, out-of-school care programs and preschool programs are closed indefinitely.
- All long-term care and other continuing care facilities are advised to limit visitation to essential visitors only.
Dr. Hinshaw also asked houses of worship to follow the recommendation of gatherings with no more than 250 people.
Regarding classes being cancelled, Dr. Deena Hinshaw said, “These decisions are not made lightly, and I know they will have a tremendous impact on Albertans’ day-to-day lives, particularly parents, children, and seniors. But it is crucial we do everything possible to contain and limit the spread of COVID-19.”
Press Release Follows:
K-12 schools and post-secondary institutions
Effective immediately, students will no longer be attending classes in K-12 schools and post-secondary institutions until further notice. Post-secondary campuses will still remain open, but classes are cancelled. School authorities are expected to continue their regular day-to-day operations and ensure the safety of school facilities. Maintenance, capital projects, cleaning of facilities and administrative work will continue.
Every K-12 student will receive a final mark and students will progress to their next grade level next year. Provincial assessments, such as provincial achievement tests, will be cancelled. At this time, diploma exams essential for post-secondary acceptance will continue. Every student who is eligible to graduate from Grade 12 this year will graduate.
The Alberta government will also be working with post-secondary institutions to ensure that these extraordinary circumstances do not prevent students from being eligible for admission to post-secondary studies for the coming school year.
Teachers and other school staff will still be expected to work, either from home or at their workplace, to ensure these expectations are met. Decisions on how to do this are still to be made, and it may vary depending on the school jurisdiction.
All licensed child care, out-of-school care programs and preschool programs in Alberta are closed at this time, as well. Approved day homes are exempt because they care for fewer than seven children at a time. These programs are encouraged to use enhanced sanitation practices.
You may like:
Places of worship are no longer exempt from the recommended restrictions on mass gatherings. Public health officials continue to recommend that all mass gatherings of 250 people or more are cancelled, and this now includes worship gatherings.
Any event that has more than 50 attendees and expects to have international participants, or involves critical infrastructure staff, seniors, or other high-risk populations, should also be cancelled.
Events that do not meet these criteria can proceed at this time, but risk mitigation must be in place, such as enforcing distancing of one to two metres between attendees and using sanitizer stations.
Visitation limits to continuing care and long-term care facilities
Only essential visits to any continuing care or long-term care facility in Alberta are recommended:
- Individuals over 60 years of age and those with pre-existing health conditions are most at risk of severe symptoms from COVID-19.
- Families and friends of those in these facilities are asked to think of other ways besides visiting that they can support and encourage their loved ones through this difficult time.
You may like:
- DIY Hand Sanitiser using WHO Recipe
- Do I Have Coronavirus: How to Self Assess Using Alberta Health Tool
- If You Flew on These Flights to Alberta Before March 12 – Self-isolate For 14 Days and Monitor For Symptoms