CALGARY -- A grassroots group of physicians and concerned citizens is calling on the province to adopt the national COVID app and be more transparent in reporting numbers as part of a six--point plan to improve the public health response to the pandemic.

The group, called Masks4Canada, released the list Wednesday, which it calls "a public statement expressing alternate options for Alberta leaders to consider."

The six points include:

  • Proactive responses: Anticipatory and early response provides better outcomes than a delayed, prolonged and reactive response.
  • Effective and consistent policy: Mandatory masking should be province-wide, as opposed to municipal mandates, which leaves many Albertans vulnerable. Support our excellent test/trace/isolate systems. 
  • Adopt the national COVID app: Albertans should be part of this national program, and it will facilitate greater ease of travel within Canada for all residents regardless of province/territory.
  • Acknowledge airborne transmission: Clear evidence of airborne spread exists. This must be addressed through enhanced building codes to ensure better ventilation and filtration regulations. 
  • Equity: Maintain support to protect the health of those with barriers such as financial constraints. In particular, the BIPOC, prisoner, homeless, and lower socioeconomic status communities need enhanced support. 
  • Transparency: Alberta citizens and scientists need to have better access to COVID statistics and information to better allow for policy discussions, risk assessment and behavioural approaches to safely keep the economy as open as possible.

"Our group did not come forward with these recommendations lightly. We have watched with increasing concern as our cases have risen dramatically, without a commensurate response," said Dr. Joe Vipond, one of the group's organizers.

"While the additional public health measures announced yesterday are welcome, we feel that our government can do much more to ensure the safety of all Albertans."