New restrictions are being put in place as Premier Jason Kenney has declared a state of public health emergency to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Effective immediately, no indoor social gatherings will be permitted, while outdoor social gatherings will be limited to 10 people. Funerals and wedding capacity will be also be limited to 10 with no receptions.
“Social gatherings are the biggest problem,” said Kenney Tuesday afternoon. “Many people may think that a family dinner or get together with friends is no big deal, it’s just normal and we don’t imagine when we gather with family that people would be transmitting a virus like this, but it is the key reason why COVID-19 is winning.”
All students from Grade 7-12, regardless of the school division, will be removed from in-person learning as of November 30th. They will not return to in-person learning until January 11th. K-6 students continue in-person until December 18th when they will move to at-home learning until their winter break.
Effective November 27th, in areas under enhanced measures, which include both the City of Grande Prairie and County of Grande Prairie, retail businesses and services may remain open but will be restricted to 25 per cent of occupancy limits.
Places of worship will also be limited to 1/3 total capacity, with all those in attendance required to wear masks, and strictly follow all social distancing guidelines.
“We are in a critical time,” says Health Minister Tyler Shandro. “By taking further action now, we can slow this virus, ensure our health-care system has the capacity to respond and prevent the shuttering of more businesses.”
In-person dining will be allowed to continue, however, those dining out must be limited to those in a single household, and no more than six people from the same household at a table. Businesses that can remain open by appointment only will include hair salons, personal care services, and hotels. Temporarily closed for at least the next three weeks will be venues like banquet halls, conference centres, and concert venues.
All workers who can work from home, are being urged to do so.