'I will not hesitate': Nenshi says Calgary will take action against COVID-19 if province doesn’t announce more measures Tuesday
CALGARY -- Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi says city council will look at further health measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 if the province doesn’t announce new restrictions on Tuesday.
“I am expecting an announcement tomorrow. If we don’t get one, then I will call an emergency meeting of council for Wednesday or Thursday,” the mayor told reporters Monday afternoon.
Nenshi said a provincial cabinet committee is meeting Monday to discuss the possibility of new restrictions as case numbers climb in Alberta.
“I won’t hesitate to take further action to protect the citizens of Calgary if the province does not,” Nenshi said.
Alberta reported 1,735 news COVID-19 cases and 16 deaths on Monday. There are now 20,067 active cases of the virus across the province. Dr. Deena Hinshaw says 609 people are in hospital, 108 of them are being treated in the ICU.
Dr. Hinshaw said her team has prepared a package of recommendations to be considered by the provincial cabinet committee. It’s up to members of that committee which of the recommendations to enact and when, Dr. Hinshaw explained.
Alberta’s top doctor says current measures, which were announced nearly two weeks ago, are not doing enough.
“If the goal is to bring our numbers down, we will need additional measures to be able to do that,” Dr. Hinshaw said.
“I do believe that we do need additional restrictions in order to bring our case numbers down and protect the health care system.”
Calgary council is also asking administration to come up with amendments to the city’s mandatory mask bylaw to consider increasing fines for those breaking the rule.
The current fine for individuals not wearing a mask where required is $50 and the mayor says increased fines should be discussed for those who are in “flagrant abuse” of the bylaw.
The city also announced Monday that its Level 2 peace officers now have the authority to enforce rules around private gatherings and capacity limits.
More than 100 peace officers are now able to work alongside Calgary police officers to respond to situations “where individuals are in blatant violation of the Public Health Act and bylaws."