Both the City and County of Grande Prairie are set to see stricter health measures due to rising cases of COVID-19. Premier Jason Kenney announced that starting Friday, all COVID-19 hotspot communities, which are municipalities or regions with a case rate above 350 per 100,000 people and at least 250 active cases, new restrictions are being implemented to slow down the rapid spread of the virus.

As of April 28th, the City of Grande Prairie has a case rate of 615.5/100,000, and the County of Grande Prairie has a case rate of 610.7/100,000 people.

“We have no choice but to implement these targeted measures to slow growth and bend the curve and protect our health system over the next few weeks,” Kenney said on Tuesday.

Included in the restrictions, and going into effect on Monday, is a mandate for all grade 7-12 students, if they’re not already there, to move to remote learning for at least two weeks. The province says all other grades will continue to study in school, and that schools remain a safe place and are not the main driver of community spread.

For Peace Wapiti Public School Division students, this only applies to the three facilities within the municipality itself. According to PWPSD officials, the restrictions will only affect Grades 7 and 8 at Harry Balfour School, all students at Peace Wapiti Academy, and Grades 7 through 12 at Peace Wapiti Enterprise Centre.

Kenney also announced the short-term suspension of all indoor fitness activities, including all group physical activities, such as team sports, fitness classes, and training sessions. The province says all one on one lessons and training activities will also be prohibited. However, outdoor fitness activities can continue under the current health restrictions already in place.

The provincial government says the restrictions will revert back to Step 1 of the provincial plan once active cases dip below 350 per 100,000 people.

All other previously announced and implemented health and safety measures also remain in effect.

Note: This story was updated from its original form to add the clarifying information released by the Peace Wapiti Public School Division.