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The Alberta government is considering stricter measures to handle the province's coronavirus pandemic, Global News reports.
The plans are being discussed by high-level members of the Albertan government. It was not clear who these high-level officials are, however.
According to the source, the measures are likely to impact recreational activities such as sports, dance, and fitness. Measures restricting such activities have already been put in place in Vancouver in neighbouring British Columbia.
The revelation emerges a few days after Alberta's chief medical officer, Dr. Dina Hinshaw, suggested that more restrictions need to be implemented in order to combat the spread of the virus. Her call was echoed in a letter signed by 174 Albertan physicians on the same day, writing “[if] the rate of COVID-19 spread continues, the consequences to the people of Alberta will be catastrophic.”
“The province should consider a two-week, short, sharp lockdown, or ‘circuit breaker’ to drop the effective reproductive number and allow contact tracing to catch up,” the doctors argued.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has accepted restriction measures as necessary, although has been reluctant to take a "by any means necessary" approach. According to Kenney's spokeswoman, “the premier has been very clear that his goal is to protect both lives and livelihoods."
New restrictions were announced last Friday in the province, with the government restricting social gatherings to no more than 15 people. The policy applies to the entire province, with the province further asking that individuals abstain from hosting social gatherings anyway, even if they are not breaking social gathering rules.
Some doctors, however, question the usefulness of lockdown measures, pointing out that Ontario's case count has continued to climb unabated even after over a month of additional restrictions, combined with skyrocketing rates of drug overdoses.
672 new cases of the virus were reported on Wednesday in Alberta alongside seven additional deaths. The next announcement is expected to come Thursday afternoon.