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Premier Kenney declares state of public emergency

The Province of Alberta has declared a State of Public Emergency as concern over COVID-19 continues to rise across the country. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says, along with the declaration, more stringent social distancing restrictions are being put in place effective immediately.

Public gatherings of any kind are now limited to no more than 50 people and include both places of worship and family events like weddings. Not included in the restrictions, however, are grocery stores, shopping centres, health-care facilities, airports, and other essential services.

Albertans across the province are also banned from attending public recreational facilities and private entertainment facilities, including gyms, swimming pools, arenas, science centres, museums, art galleries, community centres, children’s play centres, casinos, racing entertainment centres, and bingo halls.

However, sit-down restaurants, cafés, coffee shops, food courts and other food-serving facilities, including those with a minors-allowed liquor license will be allowed to remain open but will be limited to 50 percent capacity to a maximum of 50 people. Take-out, delivery or drive-through service will continue to be allowed.

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“This is an unprecedented moment in our history and decisive action is needed,” says Premier Jason Kenney.

“We recognize that these measures will have a profound impact on the lives of Albertans, but they are necessary in the face of this growing pandemic.”

To try to help the responses put together by municipalities, the province is pledging $60 million to charitable and non-profit organizations providing social services support. The money, according to a statement from the government, will be provided to adult homeless shelters, women’s emergency shelters and the Family and Community Support Services program.

The restrictions will be in place until further notice.

Written by Michael Lumsden,

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